Top 7 Ways to Build Believability
By Kevin Eikenberry
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If you want to build relationships, be a leader and make more sales, you must be believable. Here are seven ways to build your believability and at the same time make yourself more productive and effective in all that you do.
- Tell the truth. First and foremost, if you want to be believed you must tell the truth. The fable of the little boy who cried wolf is a perfect example. Many times as he tended the sheep he got lonely, so he alerted the adults of wolves attacking the sheep. After several times of sending a false signal, people didn’t respond when he really did need their help. If you want to be believable, tell the truth.
- Be consistent. To be more believable don’t just tell the truth with it is convenient or comfortable. When we are seen as consistent in our words and deeds, people take more stock in what we say and that builds believability.
- Match your words and actions. There is a time for humor and perhaps even light sarcasm. Pick those spots carefully. If you are too often sarcastic, people may not be able to read the times when you are being honest and when you are being sarcastic. This subtle thing can have an impact on your believability.
- Share more information. A strict “just the facts on a need to know basis” approach won’t always promote the greatest levels of believability. Tell people what is happening. Give them more context. Tell them why something is happening. When people know more, they won’t feel you are hiding something or leaving something out. (And if they think you are omitting details they will make something up to fill in the gaps.)
- Share sooner. Most everyone hates surprises, especially when we feel that information was available earlier. Tell people what is happening, even if there is nothing new. Tell people more, sooner.
- Share mistakes. Do you know someone who never does anything wrong? (Or at least never admits it?) Does that behavior lead you to question all of his/her thoughts and comments? I’m sure it does on some level. When we admit mistakes, errors and misjudgments we become more real and people see us as more believable.
- Say “I don’t know.” Go ahead; say it out loud right now. Three times. Get used to saying it. We, of course, don’t always know, and there is nothing wrong with admitting it. My high school year book said of one of my classmates, “If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, divert them with B.S.” If you think someone is “B.S. ing” you, and you are always running his/her words through that filter, believability is greatly diminished. Be willing to say, “I don’t know.”
Kevin Eikenberry is a leadership expert and the Chief Potential Officer of The Kevin Eikenberry Group (http://KevinEikenberry.com), a learning consulting company that helps Clients reach their potential through a variety of training, consulting and speaking services. You can learn more about him and a very special offer on his newest book, Remarkable Leadership: Unleashing Your Leadership Potential One Skill at a Time here: http://RemarkableLeadershipBook.com/bonuses.asp .
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Article Submitted On: August 19, 2007