Credibility is your reputation. It follows you wherever you go. It's hard to build but easy to destroy. Credibility gives you power. It gives you influence. It opens the way to allowing you to get things done through others.
If credibility was a pyramid it would be built on two corner blocks - trust and integrity.
- Trust, according a study by New York University and published in The Journal of Neuroscience, is determined by a decision the brain makes in 33 milliseconds – in that time frame we decide whether or not someone can be trusted.
- Integrity is that quality we give to someone who demonstrates sound moral and ethical principals at work.
Combined we say the holders of these qualities have credibility.
So, given the value of credibility both internally and in the market place, you would have to ask why political and corporate leaders seem to be anxious to throw it away. It’s remarkably easy to destroy.
The reality is a huge number of ‘business as usual’ communications are inefficient. To often the purpose of the communication is overlooked.
I came across this article, Fostering Dialogue Across Divides that demonstrates this beautifully. The way we talk to each other makes a difference. There is no single best way to talk:
- A coach shouts game instructions
- Air traffic controllers speak flight plan clearances, taxiing instructions and approach instructions to pilots
- Trial lawyers cite evidence and precedent that supports their stand and counters an opposing position
- Lobbyists proclaim short potent slogans to promote their cause.