Tomorrow I will be doing a presentation to a group of Young Professionals. I will be speaking around the topic of Leadership; How to build Trust, Credibility and Respect.
Obviously an interesting topic for this group of people. Most of the folks that will be in attendance fall into a few different categories in the workforce. They are either starting out their careers. They could already be in their second career. Most likely most of them, if not all of them, will be looking for an edge to continue to grow in their current role and in their organization.
I will allow them to come up with their own playbook of what they think it takes for them to build their leadership skills to be trusted, and have the respect and be credible to those in higher positions in their company or in their communities. As they decide for themselves what they think it takes. I will share my thoughts as well.
Here are five things they can do, and you can do to: To become a trusted, credible, and well-respected leader in your organization or in your community.
- Invest in yourself: There is no better way to become known as a person who knows what they are talking about than actually becoming that person that knows what they are talking about. The best way to do this, is to first become an expert in your business or the work you do. Sign up for any trade magazines in your industry, email lists, newsletters, etc. Whatever you can get your hands on, do it. In addition, to getting your hands on that information you need to attend seminars or conferences in your business. If your company will pay for it. Great. If not. Pay for it yourself. Become known as the person who is willing to do whatever it takes to become an expert in your business.
- Develop your foundational skills: Yes I said foundational. Most people call them soft skills. However, I call them foundational, because if you don’t have a strong foundation built it is hard to put or build anything on top of it. You have to become a better speaker, communicator, connector with others, small talker, influencer, etc. There are two ways to develop these skills. First, you can attend courses to learn how to do this more effectively. Like a Dale Carnegie Course or Toastmasters. Secondly, you have to practice a lot. You have to go out of your way to attend networking events, find ways to speak in public, and just go out of your way to always be connecting and communicating with others. The more you do this, the better you will become, which in turn allows you to become more known and more credible.
- Brand You: The first two items on the list, obviously help build you up amongst your peers and colleagues. However, if you are working really hard to build yourself up, but meanwhile you are doing things that can pull you down. It isn’t going to help you become more respected and trusted. Here are a couple of things to not do. Don’t be negative. You know who those people are. You try to avoid them don’t you? They are the ones that are on Facebook or on your lunch breaks, complaining about everything. You don’t want to be known as that person. Secondly, don’t feed in to the gossip. When someone starts the gossip, exclude yourself immediately from the talk. Avoiding the negative talk and avoiding the gossip scene will help separate you from the pack and let people know that you are trustworthy.
- Listen and think before you speak: You could easily put these into the foundational category above. However, I believe it needs its own space here at number four. First of all, most people are not very good listeners. People respect people who will listen to them. We want someone to sincerely listen to us. Secondly, if we become good listeners, we will have the correct and accurate information before we start speaking. How many times have you heard the old saying “Foot in my mouth” cliché. Too many to count most likely. And the reason people have to say it so often, is that they didn’t do enough listening on the front end to learn what they should or shouldn’t say.
- Speed, Accuracy, Consistency: I am still waiting for a returned phone call from a Realtor from two weeks ago. How much credibility do you think that person has with me right now? You got it. Zero. I believe you must become known as a person who does things quickly. Lets face it. We now live in a world where I can have pretty much anything I want within a few hours, at the longest, a couple of days. We are all conditioned, and getting more conditioned every day, to have less patience than we used to. If you want to become more respected and credible, become known as the person who gets things done quickly. I know when we speed things up, the chances of accuracy and consistency can be affected. But you can’t allow that to happen. You have to deliver everything with speed. It must be accurate, and you must be able to do it consistently. Period. Look at Amazon. They do all three. Become known as the Amazon to everyone you know.
These are five simple things you can do to become that respected, credible, and trusted person at your office, within your organization, within your community, etc.
To your success and your future.