Credibility in Leadership

Administrative Expert and Creative Writer

When it comes to leadership, the importance of credibility cannot be overstated. When leaders are seen as credible, their followers are more likely to be motivated and committed to the leader’s vision. The importance of credibility in leadership is evident in the fact that most people do not want to follow a leader who they do not trust. Therefore, credibility among teams can be achieved by a leader who is seen as trustworthy. The vision of a credible leader is more likely to succeed, making the followers more successful in their own endeavours. On the other hand, the lack of credibility can lead to failure in any project.

10 Strategies to Build credibility as a Leader

If a group of people believe that the leader speaks with integrity and delivers what they promise, they will follow them with willingness and enthusiasm. A lack of credibility can lead to a lowered willingness and enthusiasm. The credibility of the leader can be achieved by showing that they have the integrity of character and are seen as honest, trustworthy, and capable. This means they make commitments, and they keep. They don’t promise things that cannot be done or delivered. Here are the 10 strategies on how to build credibility as a leader:

Credibility in Leadership

1. Be Authentic

As a leader, one of the most important qualities that you can develop is authenticity. Authenticity makes you credible as a leader because people will trust you more when they know that you are being honest with them. An authentic leader is someone who is genuine, trustworthy, and honest. They are able to be themselves in every situation and they don’t have to pretend to be anything else. They are aware of their strengths and weaknesses and they know how to communicate with people from all walks of life.

However, there are many different ways in which leaders can be authentic in the workplace. Some characteristics like self-awareness, emotional control, accountability, empathy, and humility help a leader to be authentic. Additionally, an authentic leader is always open to sharing information with his team that is necessary for making key decisions.

2. Be Engaging

Engaging the team with the company’s vision is a great way to build credibility in leadership. According to a study by the Gallup Poll, the majority of Americans dislike or feel disengaged on the job. One of the key causes of this disengagement is that leaders are struggling to discover ways to increase engagement among today’s workforce. As a result, approximately 70% of American workers are miserable at their job.

A leader’s main objective is to unleash the full potential of his people by engaging them with the company’s vision. In order to be engaging, a leader must possess the characteristics of empowering people, developing others, staying grounded, remaining humble and prioritizing organizational health. Moreover, an engaging leader is passionate and positive, open, candid, and authentic in their communication and behaviour. Also, they can both lead and follow.

3. Be Knowledgeable

A knowledgeable leader can find new opportunities and employees who might be capable of achieving the organization’s goals and objectives and overcoming challenges. A knowledgeable leader may also influence goals to progress in a positive direction. To produce positive outcomes for everyone engaged, they make use of their collective knowledge, abilities, and resources. It is really helpful for building credibility among the team.

True knowledgeable leaders collaborate with their teams to bring their expertise to initiatives that are beneficial to the company. Through their behavior and actions, they demonstrate the path. They openly and proactively exchange knowledge rather than turning it into a knowledge barrier. Instead of encouraging reliance on their limited skill set, they aim to teach people how to become more independent and effective.

4. Be Approachable

A leader must establish an open relationship with his team where everyone can get easy access to all the necessary information. A credible leader does not rule his team with an iron fist. Instead, they increase connectivity with their team and draw people to them. Great leaders establish strong bonds with their team members and foster relationships that encourage performance even under challenging conditions.

In order to be approachable, a leader can create an open communication culture, share success and failure stories, encourage physical communication, collect employee feedback and show compassion and empathy. Moreover, an approachable leader must be calm, optimistic and passionate.

5. Be Proactive

If you want to build credibility as a leader, you must be proactive. A proactive leader can predict challenges in advance and make strategies for dealing with them; on the other hand, a reactive leader waits for difficulties to present themselves before attempting to resolve them. As a result, a proactive leader can handle problems better than a reactive leader.

There are many characteristics of a proactive leader. Such as they think long term, inspire others, solve problems quickly, properly utilize team strengths, take criticism well, trust people etc. Moreover, proactive leaders are calm, organized, compassionate, helpful and trustworthy.

6. Be Honest & Trustworthy

Everyone likes and respects a person who is honest and trustworthy. This is true for leadership as well. An honest and trustworthy leader is more credible than others. Faithful leaders often face some challenges as they speak honestly even in difficult situations, but the benefits outweigh the difficulties. Furthermore, honesty is essential for obtaining both internal and exterior well-being.

In any organization, you will find at least some leaders who can be trusted. Honest leaders are flexible, straightforward in communication, firm and fair and true to their words. Furthermore, honest and trustworthy leaders always assess their own behavior, recognize their dark side, reinvent themselves and live their core values.

7. Lead by Example

Leading by example is crucial for building credibility as a leader. Credibility in leadership depends on how much the followers accept the leader as their guiding star and it can be achieved through leading by example. Leading by example enables others to anticipate obstacles and take quick action to overcome them.

Leading by example means influencing the followers through your behavior and actions instead of command. The primary goal of leading by example is to influence others to follow your approach. There are several ways of leading by example. Some of them are Listening to the team, respecting the chain of command, positive thinking, delivering on promised results, empowering subordinates, resolving conflicts quickly, developing personal relationships, valuing people, producing better outcomes etc.

8. Make Quick Decisions

Subordinates depend on their leaders for critical decisions. Therefore, a leader’s credibility with his followers will increase the quicker he can make decisions. Decision-making is a great leadership trait that every credible leader must have because quick decision-makers can identify the issue before deciding what has to be done.

Exceptional decision makers follow some strategies that help them to make prompt decisions, such as Identifying critical factors, evaluating options accurately, anticipating outcomes and seeing logical consequences, navigating risk and uncertainty, and reasoning well in contexts requiring quantitative analysis.

9. Set Clear Objectives

Setting a clear objective for each employee is not only essential for building credibility in leadership but also one of the most important team-building activities. Less clarity is one of the main obstacles to increasing the happiness and productivity of the team. If people aren’t clear about their roles and responsibilities and what they’re supposed to be doing every day, they will be agitated and become less and less effective. Thus the leader will also lose his credibility with his team.

There are several ways of setting clear objectives. Some of them are thinking about what results are to be achieved, specifying outcomes, not actions, determining priority, announcing your goals to the team, deciding the goal-tracking process, selecting a technology to track team performance etc.

10. Speak with Confidence and Conviction

A leader’s ability to speak with conviction is highly significant. It’s comforting to have someone who can persuade us that everything will be alright when things are unclear in business. The capacity to maintain composure, guide others, and foster assurance.

There are several ways of speaking with conviction, such as being kind, not curt, slashing the details, knowing the team members, being mindful of time, being concise, making time to share more etc.

Key Takeaways: Credibility in Leadership

Here are the 10 strategies on how to build credibility as a leader:

1. Be Authentic

2. Be Engaging

3. Be Knowledgeable

4. Be Approachable

5. Be Proactive

6. Be Honest & Trustworthy

7. Lead by Example

8. Make Quick Decisions

9. Set Clear Objectives

10. Speak with Confidence and Conviction

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