Monday 22 July 2019


As a follow up

Here are five time-tested, straightforward tips for building credibility:

Honour your commitments

Nothing damages your credibility like failing to keep your commitments  —  meetings, work deadlines or completing action items. Decide to make commitments only after thinking through your priorities, time availability, etc. It's better to say an empathetic and polite 'No' instead of saying yes, only to break the commitment later on, and damage your credibility. The only two things needed to honour your commitments are: a notepad or any other storage system where you can write down everything you have committed to, and a will to do them.

Know your subject/area of work

Develop deep competence in your area of work. This can only be done by learning constantly. It has never been easier to learn than in the current Information Age. You can learn from books, websites, online courses, magazines, journals, blogs, trainings, conferences, and, of course, from experts around you. Keep yourself up-to-date with the latest happenings in your functional area. At a minimum, try to devote 30 minutes daily to developing your capabilities.

Be thorough

Cross the T, and dot the I  —  be meticulous in doing your work. Look at problems from all possible angles, think through various solutions, what will work, what will not work, anticipate the problems, and have a plan in place for dealing with them. Ensure that you do not turn in half-baked work and that your proposals are well thought through. If you do this regularly, you will have the added advantage of your name itself inspiring credibility. Stakeholders will already have a positive inclination to a solution or recommendation from you, even before you present, because they know that you always turn in high-quality work.

Be professional

Interact courteously with people, be humble and accept responsibility for mistakes, apologise if needed and make corrections. Stay away from idle gossip and chatter, keep personal differences aside while working with team members, and focus on the job at hand. Try to maintain your calm during high-stress situations — it's critical not to go off the handle. Sharp, abusive words and highly aggressive body language can severely damage your credibility. Choose your words, tone and body language in a manner that demonstrates grace under pressure, which is regarded as a hallmark of professionalism.

Be authentic

'What you see is what you get' is one way of defining being authentic. It means that there is congruence in your words and actions. So, when people interact with you, they know that they don't have to be on their guard to deal with hidden agendas, deceit, pretence and fakeness. You say what you genuinely feel, and you are able to speak the truth. This does not mean that you are rude and hurtful, rather it's a way of being compassionately honest when needed.

Listen carefully, and be fully present when you are with people. Don't let your thoughts wander off, showing disinterest. When you focus your attention on the people with you, they feel valued and perceive you as a genuine human being. Being authentic also means being aware of your values, and living them consistently by being true to yourself. It means that you are not afraid of being yourself, and are not looking for constant approval by following the herd, or doing the popular thing, even when it does not resonate with you. Authenticity is a very attractive trait, and it instantly notches up your credibility.




Sonal Jain