Respect and credibility are 2 critical hidden badges that each of us carry in our workplace. Both are earned through actions and accomplishments along with how we conduct ourselves. What happens when you work for a manager who is well-regarded and has high credibility? For those of us who have had such experience will know that it is a positive experience. Conversely, working for or with a manager who has credibility issues is hard. It is hard because it is fighting an invisible barrier and it makes working with people and teams more challenging.
What can you do if you are in that situation? Here are some tips for you:
- Focus on your credibility. Focus on building your credibility. Deliver on your commitments and be a professional. You are responsible for building your own credibility. Credibility is built over time through hard work, commitment and accomplishments. Therefore, you are in control of what you are to achieve.
- Keep your words and actions professional. Be a professional. Don’t succumb to gossiping or bad mouthing your manager or peers. Be self-aware and ensure that you focus on your role, responsibilities and results.
- Seek out mentors to help you grow. Seeking out mentors will ensure that you have an objective outside to give you perspective and help your developmental needs. Your focus should be how can you continually grow and learn to be better at your role and enhance your skills. All these actions will help you to build your credibility.
- Stay optimistic and positive. One of the typical symptom that will appear in the group is low team morale. Be the difference. Be the light that shines optimism and keep working on what you are responsible for.
- Help your manager. You would expect your manager to help you but in this situation, helping your manager to be successful might be needed. When the team is successful, it builds credibility for all. It is a symbiotic relationship, everyone needs everyone to play their part for the whole to be successful.
Observing from a distance President Trump makes me feel sorry for the people that are working for him. How hard it must be to do their job when they serve a leader who has very little credibility. However, we don’t have to look too far to see in our workplaces, that we have managers who also suffer from credibility issues. Instead of being helpless or raise our hands in defeat, let’s look for ways that we can still be successful.
What makes personal credibility important?
- Power of Influence: Influence is a powerful skill to possess. A person of influence can achieve a great deal. Negotiations proceed smoother. Convincing another person to participate or taken up task requires less time and effort.
- Trustworthiness: When a person has credibility, that person is perceived as trustworthy. For most, a great character to have or perceive to have is integrity. When there is trust, there is mutual respect and working together is easy. When that breaks down, it is hard as there is too much uncertainty and second guessing. Focusing on what you need to do and watching your back make for work extremely challenging.
- Authority: Direct or indirect authority makes working with people easier. When you have authority whether it is in a subject matter or as part of the hierarchy, you are able to in some situation control the situation.
When you are in that situation, you will need to decide what is the path that you are going to take. Are you going to make the situation better or make it worse?
- What is my attitude towards my manager?
- What is my attitude towards the work that I do?
- What am I saying or doing that could contribute to making the situation better or worse?
- How can I stay focus on the job?
- What can I do towards developing my credibility? Am I delivering the outcomes or results that I have committed to?
- How am I taking accountability for my actions or am I blaming others?
- What are my choices?
- What do I want to achieve or learn from this?
Working in any organisation, there will be a mix bag of managers and colleagues. Most of the time we can’t choose who the people we work for and with will be. The ability to manage and work with people will be key to your success. You will need to decide what part you will play on top of your official role. Will you be the catalyst of positive change or not?
Admittedly, there are times, no amount of positivity will help a situation, it is then, the need to find another opportunity. But before then, focus on the learnings and skills building that this journey will take you through.