In today’s world of instant communications and lightning speed decision-making, establishing one’s credibility is becoming more challenging. However, establishing your credibility quickly and effectively will make a big difference to your success. Keep in mind that your credibility is based on how you are perceived. Perceptions are “what people see and think”. They drive people’s attitude and ultimately what they believe and feel about you. So what can you do about your credibility? Remember, every personal and business interaction is an opportunity to establish and build on your credibility. Take advantage of every one of them by preparing ahead of time. Think through and plan for interactions with the people you want to influence.
Here are six simple steps you can take:
- Learn something about the people you are trying to establish credibility with. What are their goals, challenges, and needs?
- Constantly seek to understand the people you interact with, ask good questions, get to know as much about them as possible. It will come in handy for steps 3-5.
- Leverage your understanding by sharing a “theme” early in an interaction that indicates you’ve “done your homework” before meeting with them. (e.g. “I read”, I noticed”, or ” I, like you, believe in…”)
- Communicate the “potential value” you offer this person in a simple, concise way. (Think of it like an “elevator speech” something you can give in 1 minute or less)
- Your message should answer 3 questions at the same time (what you do, how you do it, and what value is potentially in it for the other person)
- Be prepared with examples to support your message and position your experience and expertise.
Credibility has a very short life span. It needs to be nurtured and refreshed constantly. The steps above should be used over and over again with practice and perseverance.