Credibility in the workplace means believability. Simply put, do people believe what you say? Is your reputation based on a track record of telling the truth? Are your project estimates accurate, your forecasts realistic, and your word solid? Or are you a big talker, a storyteller, or a spin doctor? In all that you do – strive to be a credible communicator.
When it comes to being a credible communicator, here are five lessons I learned that I believe are worth sharing:
1. The Right Way to Write and Speak: From the moment you submit a resume and then interview for a job, the credibility counter is activated. Are your assertions accurate, your chronology factual, and your affiliations, degrees, and awards correct? Whether spoken or written, our communication must withstand the test of truthfulness.
2. Your Word is Your Bond: People listen to what you say and how you say it. In every job situation, you have the opportunity to become known as a person of his or her word. On the flip side – you can become known for shadowing the truth, telling people what they want to hear, or using conflicting words as a defendant might do under cross examination in a courtroom.
We have all heard of the boy who cried wolf so many times that when a wolf finally appeared, people had long since stopped listening. This boy’s credibility had long since turned non-existent. The same is true in the workplace. Whether you cry racism, sexism, ageism, or favoritism, it’s important that there be truth to your claims. You do everyone a disservice when and if you falsely accuse anyone.
3. Words Are Stick and Stones: Beyond misrepresenting your own accomplishments or capabilities, be cautious of assertions made about others. Character assassination can be, and is, fatal to careers; and not just the person you are blaspheming. Whether or not you’re a manager, your words carry a weight to them that affects others. Gossiping about others or even spreading half-truths can flag you as dangerous, untrustworthy, and ultimately not a promotable person.
One of the keys to success in the workplace is generate trust from your co-workers. If you are gossiping or betraying confidences, you destroy your own credibility as an honorable co-worker, a safe confidante, and an ally.
4. Take The High Road: Workplaces provide ample opportunities for you to earn credibility. Every time you make a deadline, do what you say you’ll do, or are there in a time of need for others – your credibility rises. Also, when you “say the right thing” or “do the right thing” in ethical situations, your credibility is enhanced.
5. Earning Your Stripes :Always strive to boost your credibility rating at work and in your professional relationships. You will know you’re succeeding when you hear others tell you they know they can count on you, have confidence in the things you do and say, and feel secure in their knowledge you’re on the team.
Don’t be in-credible…. strive to be incredible.