Credibility is without a doubt one of the most important aspects of leadership.
It doesn’t matter how intelligent or nice you are, if your staff doesn’t believe in you, they simply won’t follow you.
Therefore, in order to be a good leader, you need to earn their respect and admiration.
So what’s credibility?
We define credibility as a person’s judgment regarding the believability of someone else’s communication. Therefore, credibility isn’t a black or white measurement. It’s someone’s perception regarding the consistency, persistence, rigor, coherence and congruence between what a person says and what a person does.
A leader’s credibility is related to 3 factors:
1. THE LEADER’S COMPETENCE
The employees will ask themselves: “How competent is she?” “Is he an expert in his field?” “Does she achieve results?” “Does she have experience?” “How intelligent is he?”
2. INTEGRITY & CHARACTER
“Is he or she honest?” “Is he or she trustworthy?” “Are his or her actions congruent with his or her words?” “Is he or she fair?” “Does he or she do what he or she promises?” “How genuine or fake is he or she?”
3. WILL & INTENTIONS
“To what extent does he or she really care about me?” “Does he or she take into account my interests?” “Does he or she use power for his or her own benefit or in order to improve the company?”
As you can see, credibility is a crucial part of being a great leader and one of the main factors directly affecting the workplace climate. It therefore is one of our main factors used to measure and analyze the areas of opportunities in terms of trust and the organizational climate.
The subordinates who believe that their leaders have high levels of credibility will most likely work in an environment made up of teamwork, strong commitment and motivation, as opposed to when leaders are considered to have low levels of credibility.
There’s a much more relaxed, focused and productive atmosphere when people trust one another. The area of “Integrity and character” always has room for improvement. You’ve got to be honest in order to generate credibility. Admired leaders are honest leaders. The people who are going to trust you and follow your instructions and recommendations expect you to be honest with them. What really matters to people is not what you say, but what you do. In other words, the leader’s actions speak louder than his words and those are the ones that really generate credibility.
So, please pay attention to the following.
Here are some immediate actions that you can take in order to increase your credibility:
1 - For the next 30 days, commit yourself ONLY to things you can achieve. Assure yourself that you can accomplish something on time before you even say yes, make a promise or any type of commitment.
2 - Less is MORE when it comes to credibility. It’s better to commit to a few things and accomplish them, rather than committing to many different things without any success. The recommendation here is to switch from QUANTITY to QUALITY by doing a few of the important tasks rather than many that don’t generate any impact.
3 - Plan you commitments with clarity in order to achieve them in a timely manner. You have to have them as a priority in your agenda and try to finish them as quickly as possible. As they say: “don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today”.
4 - Everything takes time. In order to change people’s perception you’ll have to invest time and effort into it. The image people hold of you won’t change overnight. You’ll have to be very consistent with your efforts, as little by little, people’s perception will change and you’ll see how your leadership will strongly improve. It’s important for you to understand that you need to be consistent during this process, which will generate trust and eventually credibility.
5 - A good leader must be consistent and dependable with his actions. You’ll lose your credibility if you don’t do what you promise or if your actions don’t reflect what you preach.
6 - If you’re a leader, people will look at you as their role model. Don’t expect people to do something if you don’t do it first. If you want your team to act with honesty and integrity, then you’ll have to be the first one to set the example.
7 - Admit your mistakes quickly, clearly and bluntly. Being a good leader doesn’t mean that you can’t make any mistakes. In the end, we’re all human. But if it does happen, you must recognize your mistake, apologize and take corrective action. As a leader, the way you handle your mistakes sets the example and builds credibility.
Yes, it does matter.
Studies show that credible leaders create teams that have more commitment and pride for the company and for the work they do. These leaders also have more committed followers. In order to find out whether you’re a good leader and have a good level of credibility, check out your results regarding those points, which are handed to you anonymously.
Don’t lose your time investigating what they say about the people who took the survey. Rather invest your time in finding out what they say about you and how you can change that perception.
Ask yourself: “do people within my team believe in me?” Now you have clarity regarding what you can do in order to get better at leading others. If you still have questions concerning the ways to improve your credibility for your personal and professional growth, simply ask your HR team so that they can give you further help and guidance.
You’ve got to be able to answer this question:
DOES IT REALLY MATTER IF THE LEADER IS CREDIBLE?
SubCategories of Credibility:
Skills and Competence
This subcategory of Credibility evaluates how competently others feel you perform your tasks. Here we measure the perception that people have of your skills.
The subcategory of Credibility measures the coherence between what you say and what you do. It also measures how people perceive your honesty.
In this subcategory of Credibility, we measure the quality of your communication. For communication to be most effective, it has to be bi-directional.