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I am a M.A. in industrial/organizational psychology. Most of my experience has been in human resources and change management. My passion lies in employee assessment, organizational development and employee opinions. Website: www.IanMondrow.com LinkedIn Profile: http://linkd.in/drBYoC

Monday, September 6, 2010

Credibility: It's More Than a Matter of Integrity

Florence Stone (2005) claims that many of today's organizations leaders have lost of the trust of their followers due to their lack of honesty. However, Florence suggests that credibility and honesty are sometimes used interchangeably. While honesty is a crucial component of credibility, it is only one component of many. Luckily for us, it is suggested that the skills and abilities of credibility can be learned. Acquiring these can assist in establishing positive first impressions wither interviewers, supervisor or your team. Stone has consolidated a list of skills/abilities to assist in increasing credibility.
1) Interfacing Effectively One-on-One or before Groups
As a leader, one is expected to interact with others on a daily basis. In fact, it is crucial to be successful. While speaking to others seems simple, messages can be easily distorted and risk the loss of credibility. To avoid this, follow three simple guidelines: (1) Say what is intended; (2) Be strong-willed and courteous when assigning work; and (3) Know your presentation (i.e. who is audience? What are the deadlines? etc.).

2) Modeling and Encouraging Initiative
Managers should encourage their employees to be creativity and innovative. To assist in this process, people should remember to be open, listen and educated. Openness is crucial because employees are more prepared to make decisions. Educating/training employees ensures that barriers/issues are avoiding when working on a project. Listening assists a team leader in ensuring that a plan is being followed properly before being put into action.

3) Being Solution-Oriented
Mistakes are bound to happen but a credible leader embraces these mistakes and learns from them. A leader should set objectives and support the objectives regardless of any sudden changes that may occur. Being able to brainstorm and negotiate is an important skill to overcome the challenges. The credible leader can communicate the goal, be objective and show determination to reaching the goal.

4) Heading Courageously
The credible leader is confident that performance is at 100% and works to achieve this on every project. Even if employees fear the leader, they still follow him/her due to their level of respect or trust. The leader should reward those that focus more on the group than his/her well-being.

5) Establishing Loyalty and Trust
As emphasized earlier, trust is crucial to credibility. To effectively establish trust, it is vital to be consistent in messages and encourage employees to express themselves without fear of consequences. Holding in feelings encourages a breeding group for distrust.

6) Thinking Outside the Box
A credible leader embraces change and is prepared for it when it occurs unexpectedly or as planned. The leader clearly communicates the change and works with the team to adapt.

7) Creating and Implementing a Plan
Time management and prioritizing assists a leader with appearing in control the stress occurring in the office. While being open to change, the credible leader uses tools, such as to-do list, to meet his/her goals. He/she is able to politely say "no" to someone to avoid unnecessary work for the group.

8) Thinking Strategically
The credible leader enjoys the work and clearly models it through his/her behavior. As a result, it encourages others to become interested as well. They also stay up-to-date in their industry to be avoid any sudden changes that could affect their work.

9) Reaching Out to Others
This individual is a team player. He/she is more than happy to assist his/her employees and works to make them feel special.

10) Being a Life Long Learner
These professionals are always willing to learn from their experiences and barriers. They are dedicated to solve their goal and be successful in their task.

After reviewing the criteria established by Stone (2005), are you a credible leader? If not, consider sitting down with your supervisor and setting an action plan to become the credible leader. These individuals are priceless to the organization.

Work Cited

Stone, F. (2005). Credibility: it's more than a matter of integrity. Employee Relations Today, 9-15.

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