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4 Habits That Build Credibility


Credibility is an essential factor for growth in the marketplace, and while it can take years to develop, it can be destroyed in moments.

Protect your credibility with filters.

The people you surround yourself with represent you and what you value. Think about whether that new team member, client, partner, or investor is an asset or a liability when it comes to your credibility and reputation.

Strategic Coach has protected its strong reputation by clearly communicating who’s an excellent fit for us—and who isn’t. This filters out those who don’t align with our values and attracts those who do.

People who fit reject the notion that you must put in 80-hour weeks to succeed. Instead, they value free time and see its long-term personal and professional benefits. They also know it’s possible to be wildly successful and have freedom.

4 habits that build credibility.

Four habits will help you build credibility with everyone in your life. These habits are so straightforward, they’re framed on classroom walls across ten school districts in the U.S.!

  1. Show up on time.

    Whether in person or online, be on time. If you’re late, make a point to apologize and take responsibility.

  2. Do what you say.

    Keep your word and practice what you preach. For example, I promote taking Free Days and take them myself to rejuvenate and rest. I also practice the strategies and use the tools I promote. If I didn’t use my Impact Filter or Strategy Circle tools, what would that say about me (and the tools, for that matter)? The first thing people look for in others is consistency between what they say and how they behave.

  3. Finish what you start.

    See things through. If along the way you decide that the best path is to change directions, don’t leave things indeterminate.

    We bet on people, and we want to bet on people we can depend on. This is especially true when we select a life partner, and this quality is something we strive to instill in our children. So if you want a rock-solid foundation of people around you, make sure you behave in alignment every step of the way and maintain habits that build credibility.

  4. Say please and thank you.

    This is simple: Respect and appreciate others, no matter who they are. When you’re kind, people are more keen to help you. And, they’ll remember. Kindness shouldn’t just be a habit but a way of being.

Assess your credibility.

If you think your life is crazy and feel like nothing is working, ask yourself if you practiced these four habits to build credibility last week. Unfortunately, it’s likely you didn’t practice one of these habits, if not all four!

This means your performance and behavior have shown everybody around you that you’re not credible, and not practicing these habits makes you less credible by the day.

Once you’ve self-assessed your current credibility, plan next week to follow the four habits to a T. Notice how you feel differently and how others respond to you. If you want to permanently change your life for the better, so you get better results consistently and predictably, make these habits a part of who you are.

Share these four habits with your team so they can build credibility too. But remember to always practice what you preach. That’s a big one when it comes to becoming—and staying—credible in the eyes of the people around you.

Credibility in the long run.

The thing about these habits that build credibility is that you’ll never know how you’re punished for not observing them. In other words, there will be doors that just don’t get opened because you show up late, don’t have manners, or are known to not keep your word. And you won’t even know it.

We live in a world of teamwork. Handoffs must happen as scheduled, deadlines must be met, and the people along the chain need to trust one another. There are habits and rules of behavior to maintain order that either build credibility or punish your lack thereof. If you continue to face obstacles on your journey, those obstacles are likely the raw material you need to transform in order to reach your goals. Download your copy of Your Life As A Strategy Circle to learn more.

About the Author

Dan Sullivan is the world’s foremost expert on entrepreneurship in action. He is the founder of The Strategic Coach Inc. and creator of The Strategic Coach® Program. Visionary, creative, wise, playful, and generous, he is a true champion of entrepreneurs worldwide.

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