Not only can you increase your chances of success in 2009 in 20 minutes a day (see parts I and II), but you can also increase your credibility as well. As a recent article in e-Side Supply Management that outlines 10 Credibility-Building Tactics points out, it doesn’t take much to undermine your credibility in the workplace — and more often than not, you won’t even realize you’re doing it. But not only can you make a number of quick and easy changes to re-establish your credibility, you can also take pride in the fact that these quick and easy changes will build your credibility as well.
- Think, don’t Feel
Decision making should center on facts and trade-offs, not emotion. Think, don’t feel.
- Sit at the Table
Otherwise, you’ll never be viewed as an equal.
- Don’t Apologize for Everything
If you did what you thought was right for the company and did your best, you have nothing to apologize for. And you definitely shouldn’t apologize for meaningless minutia. Font too small? Chart too busy? Who Cares!
- Don’t Be the Hired Help
There’s being helpful and supportive … and then there’s being the maid or the administrative assistant. If that’s your job — great. But if it’s not, think twice about always volunteering for the meaningless minutia.
- Attack the Issue, Not the Person
If you disagree with something, do your best to identify the issue or the behavior without labeling an individual or group as responsible for it. State that the reports are useless, not that the creators are careless or haphazard, for example. And remember that even sometimes the smartest person will have the dumbest idea you ever heard. (And sometimes even on purpose … because we know that if we can’t come up with anything good, it’s often the worst idea that we can contrive that will inspire you to come up with something that is truly great.)
- Use unequivocal language.
No one likes a cowardly pussy-footer. And definitely don’t use language that leaves others with the impression there is a choice when there really isn’t. If your current supplier is inept, don’t say “we should consider whether we want to change suppliers”, say “we need to change suppliers now”.
- Keep Your Inside Voice Inside
Although it’s constructive to identify all of the risks associated with a various course of action before you make a decision, once you make a decision, don’t constantly fret about it. All you’ll do is wear everyone down.
- If You Must Be Late, Don’t Be Disruptive
Don’t add to the disruption of being late by offering an explanation, and definitely don’t ask to be brought up to speed. If your boss really needs to know why you’re late, wait until after the meeting and have the conversation offline.
- Avoid Filler Words, Phrases, and D’Oh!
Useless words such as “so,” “you know,” “anyway,” “um” and “er” that contribute no meaningful information will cause your audience to tune out, or, even worse, break out their “filler-word bingo” cards. Either way, the most you’ll be is amusement.
- If You Don’t Know, Ask.
No one knows everything, and no one with more than two active brain cells would expect you to. So don’t be afraid to ask once in a while … after all, the best way to be taken seriously is to ask some good, well thought out questions.