Where does your credibility come from?

What has earned you your right to:

  • Be on the board?
  • Charge your consulting fee?
  • Lead a project, company or team?
  •  Step on to a stage?

Do you know the answers? More than likely your answers will be totally different to your clients, peers and staff - if they were asked. It can be surprising what the responses could be. Perhaps you are too busy to ask, uncomfortable about asking or think people will be socially polite to you. I understand.

In preparation for this posting I was thinking about some of my clients and what gives them their credibility? I have an interesting array of characters as clients. Here are a couple with what gives them their credibility.

The Polished CEO who is very comfortable in front of the spot light. The media loves her.

The camera loves her. She hates that aspect of her role but she sees it as necessary. She learnt a while ago that when people saw she was busy rushing through the office in her high heels, more often the not with the phone to her ear, they thought she was unapproachable. She was horrified to discover this. She has since mastered the ability to stop, be in the moment (despite being consistently busy) and listen. People in her presence feel as if they are heard and their contribution is important. This opens the way for others to listen to her ideas. Her credibility begins with how she makes people feel and how she leads the company - and the results? They do their own talking.

One crusty character, a Managing Partner is a creative out of the box thinker who delivers financial strategies for the company's clients. 

Not your typical accountant - he is a straight shooter, strongly opinionated and will tell you what he thinks. He is not polished and is often asked to apologise for upsetting someone with his frankness. He would rather apologise than change his style. I am not advocating this approach for everybody. However going back to the question ‘what gives him his credibility’? People know he is a straight shooting (it is part of the package) and innovative thinker with a history of results and an enviable list of clients who consistently provide him with referrals. They buy his innovative thinking and his personality.

An introverted Project Manager who leads massive construction projects.

Interestingly, he has not stepped into this construction management role through the traditional paths of engineering, project management or construction management.So where does his credibility come from? It has been through is ability to lead people and lead them to think as proactive problem solving teams. Being a proactive problem solver is important to his clients. They request him as the project manager for their next job.

I have some many more insights I could share.

However, more importantly - where does your credibility come from?

Is it the way you lead, the way you make people feel, or perhaps its your considered thorough thinking that provides reassurance that all angles are covered? may be you are like Helen Clark (Former Prime Minister of New Zealand) who now holds the position of Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the third highest UN position.

She was asked to apply for the role. During the interview process she asked why they were interested in her for the role? They replied that they wanted someone who could cut through red tape, drive change and make things happen. Helen’s reputation and credibility from past work provided her with this opportunity.

Think about it, what gives you your credibility?

Let’s have a chat about this. You may be surprised at what we discover…

Cheers Tess