Seriously though, are you a credible person?
Do you ever stop and even ask yourself…
“How do I know if I’m a credible person?”
And then… What are you credible for?
What is your credibility?
The word credible comes from the latin “credo” or, I believe. When people consider you, what is it exactly that they believe? And how can you influence their belief toward how you would like to be known?
The difficult part may be earning the credibility that you actually desire.
It may be that getting people to see you how you would like to be seen may be the more difficult task.
Often, I am told that people think I’m a mean person. In my eyes, I’m likely one of the nicest, and most honest people you may meet. I’ve learned that my honesty is sometimes seen as being mean though, because I don’t dress things up very well. I’m not complaining about that fact. I know I like to call things how I see them most times.
There is a story about a guy that said to his closest friends something like, “Who do they say I am?” His friends replied with a bunch of things that were very plausible answers, but not exactly what he was looking for. Then he asked them, “Well who do you say I am?” They all responded more along the lines of what he expected (a pretty incredible dude).
We all have a reputation; some good, some bad. But shaping your credibility is a little more than that.
It’s not that you may be Superman and people see you as Clark Kent. It’s more like, who do you want to be seen as; Clark Kent or Superman? Bruce Wayne or Batman?
How can you manage your credibility?
How can you establish personal credibility and be a better leader and friend?
Establishing credibility is like branding. It’s not so much about how you tell people to see you. Rather, credibility, or branding, is how folks say they perceive you. It is about how people feel when they interact with you and how likely they are to trust you in specific situations.
Keep in mind, you can not please everyone.
What you can do is this.
Be honest and objective.
One of the best ways to subdue hesitation is to be completely honest about what you know and what you don’t know. Be upfront about what you are, and are not, capable of. And… don’t ever assume that you are always right.
Everyone wants to know who they can depend on. A large part of that is knowing what you can depend on from any given person. The easiest way to damage your credibility is to allow folks to believe that you are dependable for something you are not. Promote your areas of competence; those things that you are actually really good at. In the same respect, denounce the things you aren’t.
I tell people all the time, I can help you buy a car but I’m the wrong person to call if you need to fix it. It is also true that I will freely give any information I have but that I may be wrong. I trust myself and I trust that if I say that I know something, I have put in the time to reinforce what I believe with some evidence. But I also know that I may have still gotten it wrong. And… I’m very willing to admit that I may be wrong.
Listen more than you speak
If you want to know what people think about you, be quiet and wait. If you are a part of a conversation where you are quiet enough to be asked your opinion you have done a few things right. It doesn’t mean that your opinion is incredibly valued but you have done a few things right.
If your opinion is requested you likely:
- Listened long enough to fully understand the topic of conversation.
- Allowed others to feel like their opinion is understood, valued, and desired
- Gained insight on your audience by hearing what is important to them
- Given yourself time to actually decide what you want to contribute
- And, earned the attention of others
“When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But when you listen, you may learn something new”. – Dalai Lama
Surround yourself with credible people
Jim Rohn said,
Whoa… Maybe you missed that…
If you want to change your credibility or how people see you, you can hand pick the folks you spend the most time with and watch how your credibility averages out! #huge <- yep… hashtagged it and it won’t ever matter…
You can strategically seek out folks that you deem credible and wouldn’t mind being associated with. Then, watch your credibility match theirs.
Alternatively, if you’re hanging out with some folks that have a less than honorable reputation, be prepared to learn some shocking things about how people see you.
The list goes on…
There are tons of ways to recognize and manage your credibility.
People will see you based on a variety of personal criteria, like how often you tell others they are wrong, how precise and accurate the information you give is, how transparent you are, whether you exaggerate your stories, and plenty more.
I honestly believe that if you are honest and objective, listen more than you speak, and strategically decide who to spend your time with, people will make allowances for your shortcomings and you will establish great credibility among the people you meet and are in relationship with.
What do you think? I would really love to know.
Talk to you soon,
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