Credibility is defined as the Quality of Being Trusted and Believed In. It is further defined as the Quality of Being Convincing or Believable. However you define it, Credibility is essential for long-term retention of talent in your organization. Senior Strategic Partner, Laura Dillingham, has some great insights on this important, foundational component to having a great, sustainable company.

As I started gathering my thoughts on these two subjects, first and foremost the most important question I had to ask myself was how and why did I pick this topic? I know it when I see it and I know when I don’t see it, but how do I put credibility and integrity into something understandable, better yet, something tangible? How do I stress the importance and the results that can be achieved when it’s developed?

Originally I was going to begin with integrity. Then as I delved deeper into the topics I repeatedly found integrity listed as a part of credibility. So maybe the best place to begin is with credibility.

The dictionary definition of credibility is the power to inspire belief. It’s an absolutely critical personal and professional trait. Why? Because credibility defines who you are as a person and in business, it defines who you are as an employee, supervisor, manager, and more importantly as a leader.

As a leader, credibility lets your employees see you as a dependable means to get reliable information, (daily and when it’s critical) and decision-making. Individuals who have credibility develop and cultivate earned mutual trust and respect. Leaders who have credibility develop an organizational culture with enhanced morale, staff performance and effective relationships.

How do you Build Credibility as a Leader?
You can build credibility as a leader through:
1. Competence – having an understanding of your chosen field.
2. Honesty – Giving truthful verifiable information.
3. Accountability – for your decisions and actions.
4. Trust – allowing your employees and teams do their jobs.
5. Confidence – delegating responsibility and trusting employees.
6. Loyalty – not only to your team by watching out for their best interests, but also by setting the example, standing up and supporting them. Loyalty given results in loyalty returned.
7. Strength of Character – working hard, achieving positive results, not allowing cynics.
8. Congenial – being friendly, but more importantly being likable.
9. Sound Judgment – using comprehensive, thorough judgment based on credible information and facts.
10. Listening to others – being available, hearing and processing what is being said
11. Communication – providing honest, open, truthful two-way communication at all levels in the organization.
12. Sets the example – the organizational culture starts from the top down; don’t use the philosophy do as I say…not as I do.
13. Works in the best interests of others – individuals, both personal and professional, know if you are acting in their best interest or if you are acting in your own best interests.
14. Integrity – having strong moral principles such as honesty, good character, ethics, morality, decency, fairness, truthfulness, trustworthiness, etc.

Ask yourself, if I used the list above and asked people I know personally and professionally, how would they rate me? More importantly, what would I do with that information?

Next week we will continue this important topic by taking a look at Integrity.