Develop your personal credibility

Arthur Marara

Point Blank

There are two things that will take you and your business far; visibility and credibility. 

You will not be in business if your brand is not strategically visible. 

This is one thing that many people often miss, strategic visibility. 

You do not need to be seen anywhere. Be seen where you attract business. Once you are visible and seen, you need to work on earning credibility. 

You can be visible and lack credibility. You can also be credible but lack visibility. The focus for your business is to earn both visibility and credibility. 

There are so many businesses that are so aggressive in pushing their brands out there, but they fail on the credibility standard.

Your reputation and integrity are everything. Follow through on what you say you are going to do. Your credibility can only be built over time, and it is built from the history of your words and actions [Maria Razumich-Zec.]

Everyone wants to work with someone they can trust. Customers prefer service providers who are credible. In the absence of credibility, business can never run successfully. Credibility refers to the quality of being trusted, dependability, and reliability among other key components. 

It has over the past been broken down to two vital aspects: expertise and trust. “Expertise” entails knowledge, proficiency, and substance or detail about a particular field. 

People are seldom confident to follow or work with people who have no knowledge in the area that they operate in. On the other hand, “trust” entails the firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something or an ability to be relied on.

The vital question is can you be trusted?

Trust is essential to the operation of any business globally. There is nothing as irritating as dealing with individuals who cannot honour their word, and their lives are the direct opposite of what they speak in public. 

Some people are also good at betraying trust; they cannot keep confidence on issues they would have been entrusted with. 

This week we shall share some keys that will help you in building your personal credibility.

Authenticity

Succeed in being you and not at being a carbon copy of somebody. Be authentically yourself. Do not just fall in the trap of trends and lose who you are. People are less confident in dealing with people who do not want to be themselves. Work on your character, and be yourself. 

“It is better to be hated for who you are, than to be loved for someone you are not. It is a sign of your worth sometimes, if you are hated by the right people.” [Bette Davis]

An artificial life is always expensive on the part of the person living it. Strive for authenticity and work on yourself from the inside out.

Look for opportunities to serve

Organisations are looking for people who have a heart to serve. Greatness is in service and not in being served. It does not matter the position that you may have, make service your core value and render it to the best of your ability.

Distinguish yourself by how you do your work. Do not do a task for the sake of just doing it, do it with passion, vigour, diligence and commitment. By consistently doing this your credibility is built. Credibility is not earned in a day; it is earned daily. In doing whatever you are doing, always remember that you are an ambassador for your company, organisation, family or your brand in general. 

Reputation is destroyed by the actions and inactions of people. Leaders strengthen credibility by demonstrating that they are not in it for themselves; instead, they have the interests of the institution, department, or team and its constituents at heart.

Being a servant may not be what many leaders had in mind when they choose to take responsibility for the vision and direction of their organisation or team, but serving others is the most glorious and rewarding of all leadership tasks [James Kouzes and Barry Posner]

Eliminate negligence

Negligence is in two ways, the first one – a person knows what has to be done but chooses to do the thing in the wrong way, and second one – a person does not know what is supposed to be done but still proceeds to perform the task. 

Be clear on the task. It is always better to ask than to maintain silence and do the wrong thing. Your work should reflect that you have indeed applied your mind to the task and have executed it to the best of your ability. Speed is an important component in business but the workmanship exhibited in the completing the task is equally important.

Take time to assess your own work and ask yourself if it reflects the best in you. 

Like John Deer make a commitment that, “I will never put my name on a product that does not have the best that is in me”. Harness the input of your colleagues so that they can give you honest feedback about your work and seek ways to improve. Negligence is one of the fastest ways that enables you to lose credibility. 

The first thing people question after seeing our work is competence; “does this person know what he or she is doing?”

The sad part is that negative publicity moves faster than positive publicity.

Have substance

Ignorance will not take you far in your quest to build credibility. People are not paid for their ignorance but for their knowledge. Have apt and up-to- date knowledge of your industry, and organisation. Create time and the discipline to learn more about your area. 

What distinguishes successful people from unsuccessful people is what they know and what they do about it. Do not tout yourself as knowledgeable in areas that you are not confident in. It will only take one question to undress your ignorance. 

Have the ability to admit your limited knowledge and you will be respected for being a person of integrity. Sometimes it takes having knowledge of people who have expertise in the area and directing people in that direction. 

“To be persuasive, we must be believable; to be believable, we must be credible; to be credible, we must be truthful.” (Edward R Murrow).

Have answers to problems

“A person is remembered for two things, the problems he or she has solved and problems he or she has solved…” (Dr Mike Murdock).

 Organisations are in need of people, who can provide solutions to their problems. Create your credibility by changing the course of things in your company. Do not be problem oriented, but be solution oriented. 

Every problem has a solution wrapped in it; champions look for the opportunity in the difficulty and not the difficulty in the opportunity.

A young boy called David earned the reputation of being a giant-slayer by solving a problem that was bedevilling the Israelite camp; Goliath. 

Do not bow down to problems, confront them and solve them.

Be open to ideas 

“Like a parachute the human mind works only when it is open.” (Unknown).

If you do not want to learn you are not ready to grow your credibility.

Receive new ideas, sift and digest the ones that add value to you, reject the ones that will clutter your mind. There are people who know more than you even though they might not have certificates like you do. Do not rule out people by mere virtue of their appearance. Dr Vivien Theodore

Thomas goes down the history of medicine as the only person, black for that matter, to operate on a white baby without a doctorate degree and any degree. He taught himself how to operate and gathered the knowledge that he used to teach doctors. 

What this shows is that you can learn from other people if you choose to open your mind to ideas. No one will ever know

that you were ignorant some minutes or hours ago, but it takes humility to learn from other people.

Set goals for yourself

Identify the areas that you need to work on in your life which will help you boost your credibility. Know yourself better and make it one of your goals

to get to know yourself much better than you do. When you know yourself

you are able to be of help to other people and you will do things from who you are. Lao Tzu made a very interesting remark many years ago, “He who knows others is wise, but he who knows self is enlightened.” Take stock of your progress on a regular basis to see whether or not you are still in line.

Sell the right image

“Dress in the way you want to be addressed” (Dr Myles Munroe). The impression that you create should contribute towards building your credibility.

You will never get a second opportunity in life to make the first impression. What do you want people to think when they see you? Work on your grooming and deportment so that it will be an asset to you. 

How you present yourself can either build or destroy an opportunity for you. Speak and look like a professional. 

What is the dressing that is accorded to people in your profession? Look your profession. Have standards for yourself. People should not confuse you with a client, because of how you package yourself. 

There are instances whereby a client is more presentable than the person who is being consulted. 

This is no way to suggest that clients should not look shabby but an exhortation to standards for people who strive for credibility.

Arthur Marara is a corporate law attorney, keynote speaker, corporate and personal branding speaker commanding the stage with his delightful humour, raw energy, and wealth of life experiences. He is a financial wellness expert and is passionate about addressing the issues of wellness, strategy and personal and professional development. 

Arthur is the author of “Toys for Adults” a thought provoking book on entrepreneurship, and “No one is Coming”; a book that seeks to equip leaders to take charge. 

Feedback: [email protected] or website www.arthurmarara.com or WhatsApp: 263780055152 or call +263772467255.

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