How Credible Are You? — Frank Sonnenberg Online


What do offering parental advice, applying for a job, or running for President have in common? It doesn’t matter whether you’re peddling a product, selling an idea, persuading a skeptical group, teaching your kids a life lesson, or leading people in times of uncertainty — you won’t be successful if you lack trust and credibility. Are you credible?

Credibility matters. Believe me!

Credibility isn’t automatic. You must prove that you’re worthy of it. But beware! Once credibility is granted, it’s not always permanent. Some folks undermine their efforts by disregarding the connection between their behavior and credibility. Others are so blinded by ambition that they’re willing to sacrifice everything to get what they want. While that strategy may work in the short term, the impact on trust and credibility can be lasting.

How to Earn Credibility

Here are 14 factors that contribute to your credibility.

Be genuine. Credible people are comfortable in their own skin. They don’t create a false pretense to win acceptance, and they don’t allow themselves to be manipulated by others.

Be principled. Credible people do what’s right rather than what’s convenient. They don’t twist rules for personal gain.

Be capable. Credible people have a proven track record of success. Plus, they have the knowledge and experience to replicate that success. They don’t misrepresent their capabilities to get something they don’t deserve.

Be discerning. Credible people surround themselves with folks who uphold high standards of honor and integrity. They don’t let toxic people pollute their attitude, dampen their drive, or corrupt their morality.

Be honest and trustworthy. Credible people give explanations in a clear and concise manner. They tell it like it is rather than saying what folks want to hear. They don’t spin the truth or exaggerate benefits to make something sound better.

Be straightforward and transparent. Credible people let others know whether they’re presenting fact or opinion. They don’t abuse people’s trust by making a recommendation or offering advice without revealing vested interests.

Be objective. Credible people present both sides of an issue rather than a one-sided view. They disclose all known facts in an unbiased manner and let recipients arrive at their own conclusion. They don’t manipulate, suppress, or withhold important information to misrepresent the truth.

Be selfless. Credible people focus on win-win relationships rather than trying to advance their own self-interests. They don’t try to win at the expense of the relationship.

Be fair. Credible people make every effort to be open-minded, even-handed, and non-discriminating. They don’t show favoritism — rather, they treat superiors and subordinates with the same level of respect.

Be rational and insightful. Credible people examine both sides of an issue before forming an opinion. They make decisions based on hard evidence and reason rather than on emotion.

Be virtuous. Credible people are passionate about their beliefs and values. But they don’t force them on others. They recognize that one of the true tests of integrity is your refusal to compromise your honor at any price.

Be decisive and action-oriented. Credible people don’t just talk a good game — they make things happen. They jump on good opportunities, knowing full well that if you do nothing, nothing happens.

Be accountable. Credible people take ownership of their life rather than relinquishing that responsibility to others. They don’t point a finger or cast blame to evade accountability.

Be consistent and dependable. Credible people are predictable. You always know where they stand. They don’t blow with the wind, even when it’s convenient and tempting to do so.

Credibility Says Everything About You

Credibility is gauged by the level of confidence and trust that people have in you. You don’t secure that by sharpening your resume, learning how to play-act, or giving yourself a makeover. You gain people’s trust based on your moral character and your competence, and by consistently displaying admirable behavior.

The truth never lies.

Some people have it backward — they focus on how they appear to others. The truth is that credibility begins with you! If YOU don’t believe in yourself, why should others? When you continually invest in your personal growth, live with honor, and lead by example, everything you say will carry the voice of credibility. Moreover, you’ll be proud of who you are. You won’t have to shout it from the rooftops; saying nothing will say everything. Are you credible?

Are You Credible?

Please leave a comment and tell us what you think or share it with someone who can benefit from the information.

Additional Reading:
50 Ways to Lose Trust and Credibility
Why Do You Trust Some People and Mistrust Others?
Honesty: The Plain and Simple Truth
Live With Honor and Integrity
Reputation: You Can’t Run from Your Shadow

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