Every leader wants and needs to be trusted and be seen as credible by their team. Trust and credibility are equally important and go hand-in-hand in either making or breaking a leadership career. It’s been written that trust is built on credibility and credibility is earned by putting the interest of others ahead of yours.
Some mistakenly believe that they come with a “title” or are based on the size of your office. They are not given; they cannot be bought. They must be earned and then sustained, and this requires hard work on a consistent basis.
Consider practicing the following behaviors to help you either build or enhance your trust and credibility with your team.
- You are always on a “stage” – whatever you do or say is seen, heard and remembered and has a significant impact on your ability to build trust and credibility. Don’t be a phony, be you, just know who “you” are.
- Most people will form a judgment about you in the first 30 to 45 seconds after meeting you. Now, it may be the wrong opinion but whatever you did or said or didn’t say and do caused them to form it.
- I heard once “people vote with their eyes” and do they ever! Your total “package” from your hair down to your shoes and everything in the middle affects your credibility.
- Learn to listen – listening demonstrates that you can show a genuine interest in someone.
- Keep learning. Take every opportunity to enhance or expand your knowledge and skills. People who keep learning can demonstrate that they are experts.
- Practice your expertise so when you are called upon to use it, is obvious to others that you know what you are doing.
- Be responsive when you are called upon for help. Do what you say you will do, by the date you said you would do it by.
- Learn to admit to your mistakes. Own them, fix them, learn from them and move on. People hate excuses or attempts to cover up what you did wrong.