Credibility comes from the same root as "credo" which means I believe. If you're credible, people can believe in you.
Can you boost your credibility? Is it possible to become more credibile with friends, coworkers and customers over time? Yes, but you have to work at it. You have to earn it. Here are 5 essential qualities we all need.
You need to project the real you at all times. Be genuinue, free from pretense. If you're a fake, people will figure it out sooner or later, and that will erode whatever credibility you had developed to that point. Now, if the authentic you is actually a nasty, difficult person, you can change that. Your choice.
Don't put on one kind of personality at work and another at church. Make sure people see the authentic you at all times. Also, make sure your words match your actions. People need to know you practice what you preach and that what you say has real meaning.
Learn to understand others, their feels, thoughts and point of view. You need to listen and become more aware of the concerns of others so that you know how your words and actions will affect them. When you do, chances are they will see you as more genuine and believable.
This may seem like a given, but we all have the tendency to inflate the truth. Don't overstate, mislead or shade the facts in order to get the sale or win the contract. You may get the short term victory, but suffer a mighty blow when the truth is finally revealed. Sure, you want to put your best foot forward, but not at the expense of undermining your own credibility.
People need to know they can depend on you. They need to know that you mean what you say, that you'll deliver on your promise or commitment. Can you keep a confidence? Do others trust you with important or sensitive information? Do you deliver on time? When you're known for reliability, people are more likely to believe what you say.
In a future post, we'll look at how communication skills can boost your credibility.
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