Hoffman's Downtown is one of my favorite places for breakfast in Santa Cruz. Although I certainly try out different dishes now and again, I still find myself returning to my favorite meal of eggs over easy. The chefs consistently get my eggs just right--they're credible in my eyes.
Consistency Builds Personal Credibility
- Habit of Practice: If you say you're going to do something do it
(credibility currency: Your word means something)
- Habit of Practice: Curious questioning and thoughtful listening
(credibility currency: Facilitator of ideas)
- Habit of Practice: Own your risks without looking for scapegoats
(credibility currency: Responsible Risktaker
- Habit of Practice: Show up even when things get tough
(credibility currency: Dependable, trustworthy)
Personal Credibility When Introducing Change
- Identify the top influencers in the new group or BU. Start by tapping into the currency that you've built with your existing influencers to see if they can identify their counterparts in another part of the organization. You're in luck if they can! Ask if they'd be willing to make an introduction on your behalf to fast track the reach of your reputation. However, if your contacts aren't able to provide you with introductions, you'll need to start from scratch by leveraging an existing habit of practice, in this instance, curious questioning and thoughtful listening.
- Listen "between the lines" during meetings. Listen and document the "pain points" of those in attendance, particularly for those who you've identified as key influencers. Work behind the scenes to see if you can address any of their pain points.
- Build early trust by giving before asking. Set up initial meetings with these key influencers whose pain points you're able to help solve or at the least move the needle to address. You're letting your influencers know that you're a thoughtful listener who's willing to give something without asking for anything. Although tempting, if asked how they can reciprocate, try to refrain from asking for anything during this introductory meeting. Your goal is to build early credibility currency with individuals who will both influence and persuade others on your behalf.
Personal Credibility When Things Go Wrong
No matter how well you plan, things will (and do) go wrong even if you have a solid Plan B. But this is where your personal credibility and reputation serve as both a safety net and a path for taking next steps. Your credibility currency pays your way.
People trust that you'll lead them out of the quagmire that you're in because you've done it before. Maybe the situation was different and you'll need to take a slew of new actions that you're unfamiliar with--actions outside of your own comfort zone--but it's because you're credible in one area that you're able to transfer it to another. Personal credibility allows you to pivot and readjust and rebuild as needed.