Being able to persuade someone to believe in what you have to say is not always easy. Trying to win a customer, getting hired, gaining new friends, and building business and work-relationships- these are just some of the many things that individuals do everyday. And to succeed at each of these, credibility is required. Without this fundamental personal quality, it is almost impossible to achieve your purpose.
The Essence of Credibility
When other people put their trust, faith, and respect on you, it means they deem you as a credible person. To become credible to others, one must be honest, true to his word, and be dependable. He must be willing to accept his own mistakes just as he is committed to continuously hone his skills and abilities to contribute to his own success, and that of others.
Just as credibility can be gained, it can also be lost. How? Here are five ways that will destroy a person’s credibility:
1. Telling a lie. One surefire way to lose credibility is by being dishonest. When a person does not tell the truth and is found out, he will automatically be tagged as someone who cannot be trusted.
2. Pleasing everybody. In any aspect of life, whether personal, business, or career, not everyone will like you; there are people who will not agree with your ideas, as well as those who just will not want to be on your side. This is normal. However, if you try so hard to please everyone, you run the risk of being branded as a pleaser and this type of person can hardly be trusted.
3. Refusing accountability. When things go wrong, a person who has credibility will take responsibility of what happened; a person who blames others instead of making himself responsible for it will only make other people lose their trust in him.
4. Withholding information. Although there are times that some information needs to be kept from others due to certain reasons, we need to be as transparent as possible. Withholding information can be perceived as lying.
5. Not being confident. A lack of confidence can hurt credibility. When you do not speak with conviction in front of others, it will appear as if you are not sincere and you do not have sufficient knowledge of what you are talking about. This does not help at all in winning their trust and confidence in you.
The Value of Credibility
Why is credibility labeled as a fundamental quality? Why is it considered a prerequisite to being able to live life well? Take a look at it from this perspective; when a person has credibility, he can easily gain others’ trust. It is an essential element in relationship-building; whether it is a relationship with family members, with friends, with a client, with superiors, with employees, or customers, credibility is important for these relationships to grow and flourish. If others do not trust you, it would be very hard to get them to believe in what you say; without trust, no relationship can last.
Credibility is one of the key qualities of a leader. He cannot effectively influence others if he does not have what it takes to make others believe in him. He cannot initiate change if nobody else is willing enough to cooperate with him and to follow his lead.
Ways to Build Your Credibility
To build credibility, you must gain trust from others. You must make them believe that they can count on you. Additionally, it is important to give them the perception that you are after their well-being, and that you sincerely care about them. When a person has credibility, he has the capacity to manage himself, those under him, and those around him. He does not lie. He does not let emotions cloud his judgment and he is always fair and honest in everything he does.
Moreover, a person with credibility continually improves and updates his knowledge, skills, and abilities in order to maintain excellence at work. When you are able to do all these, you will gain credibility- a fundamental quality that will equip you as you go through life’s journeys.