Establish Credibility and Inspire Trust in Others

 It’s important to ensure that you build credibility on firm foundations.

Would you attend a training course run by someone with no experience of his subject or would you go "above and beyond" for a leader who didn't routinely keep her word?

Chances are, you'd answer "no" to these questions. If you're going to invest your time, energy, and enthusiasm with someone, you want that person to be credible and worthy of your trust.

But what is credibility? Why is it important? And, how can you build it?

In this article, we'll answer these questions, and we'll look at why being credible is so important for a successful career.

What is Credibility? The root of the word "credibility" is "credo," which means "I believe" in Latin. Put simply, credibility is the feeling of trust and respect that you inspire in others.

No single thing creates credibility. Rather, a combination of things must be in place for you to establish it.

Why is Credibility Important? Think about a time when you worked under a leader who had credibility. Chances are that she energized and excited her entire team. You knew that she would do the right things for the right reasons, and you trusted her judgment.

Credible leaders attract enthusiastic and committed followers, and people want to work for them. But credibility is important in many areas, not just in leadership roles.

For instance, sales professionals need credibility to be successful – people don't want to buy from someone they don't trust, or from a person who doesn't know about his product.

You also need credibility when you give presentations, deliver training, and sell your ideas.

How to Build Credibility. No matter what your role or position, credibility is something that you have to earn. It takes time, patience, and consistency to build it. Follow the tips below to establish credibility.

Build Character. If credibility were a pyramid, then your character and integrity would make up the foundation. To build character, first identify the core values that you won't violate – people with strong character stand up for what they believe in, even when it goes against popular opinion. Spend time getting to know yourself and what you care about most, and be willing to defend your values and choices.

Integrity is also essential for credibility. You need to be known as someone who does the right things for the right reasons.

To preserve your integrity, think carefully about the choices and promises that you make, and never make a promise or commitment that you can't keep. When you make a mistake, own up to it immediately, and do whatever it takes to correct it.

You also need to be authentic. People who are authentic do what they say; there's no mystery about their intentions, or about how those intentions might translate to their actions. This is why it's important to know yourself inside and out, and to demonstrate authenticity in everything that you do.

Develop Expertise. The more expertise you have and can demonstrate, the greater your credibility.

To build expertise, choose a single area that is fundamentally important to your role, organization, or industry. This will help you focus your efforts and ensure that you don't become overwhelmed. For example, if you're in engineering, you could develop an expert knowledge of the materials that your products use, and you could then build out from this.

Also, make sure that you stay up-to-date on your industry. When you're informed about industry trends and developments, people will trust your judgment.

While your reputation for expertise is important, it's just as important to protect it and acknowledge what you don't know. When you guess, or operate in areas outside of your expertise without informing others, you run the risk of giving out false information, making bad decisions, and being shown to be wrong. This can undermine your reputation for expertise, and damage your credibility.

Tip: Be careful in how you communicate your expertise; you don't want others to see you as arrogant or as a know-it-all. Stay humble about your accomplishments, and develop your emotional intelligence, so that you can communicate in a sensitive way.

Be Transparent. People trust what they can see. When you're open and honest, others don't have to guess what your motivations or intentions are.

Keep this in mind when you interact with your clients, team, or suppliers. You inspire trust when you talk openly about your intentions, values, and goals.

Also, keep the lines of communication open, especially when you have bad news to share.

Self-disclosure, when you reveal information about yourself to others, is an important part of transparency. For instance, one study found that college professors who shared personal information were perceived as more credible than those who didn't.

Communicate Clearly. Your communication skills play an important role in your credibility. For example, people who listen attentively and make thoughtful, informed comments are often seen as more credible than those who don't listen well, or those who speak thoughtlessly.

Start by strengthening your active listening skills. When people are speaking, give them your full attention, and ask questions to clarify anything that you don't understand.

When communicating with others, speak clearly and confidently. Don't use industry jargon to make yourself sound more knowledgeable – instead, focus on eliminating barriers to communication, so that your listeners clearly understand your message. Also, don't exaggerate facts or stories; stick to the truth.

Be Professional. Have you ever worked with bosses, clients, or colleagues who were unprofessional? Perhaps they did a poor job controlling their emotions under stress. They might have disrespected others, failed to "do the detail," or made little effort with their appearance.

Professionalism is an important element in credibility because it shows others that you truly care about your relationships and your work.

To exhibit professionalism, control your emotions at work. Don't lash out at others when you're tired, stressed, or frustrated. When you're in an argument or negotiation, don't take others' comments or opinions personally. Do your best to remain objective, and keep emotion out of the discussion.

Come to work well-dressed. It might seem like a small matter, but how you present yourself says a lot about who you are and how you feel about yourself. When you dress in a professional and appropriate manner, you'll likely find that your self-confidence and self-respect get a boost as well.

Also, meet the deadlines that you've been set, always deliver high-quality work, and don't make excuses when you haven't performed well.

Key Points                                                                                                

You establish credibility when you inspire trust in others, and it's important to your success, no matter what role you're in. It's especially important if you're in a leadership role.

To build your credibility, demonstrate honesty and integrity in everything that you do. Work on building expertise, be transparent, be professional, and communicate clearly.

Source: MindTools

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How To Control Your Anger


One in three people say that they have a close friend or family member who has anger problems. The Mental Health Foundation, suggests that many of us will encounter work situations where emotions run high, and can spill over into anger.

Not all feelings of anger are negative, for example, if you get animated on behalf of a colleague who's been given an unnecessarily hard time by others in the workplace, your response m strike a chord and result in a positive outcome. But angry outbursts that intimidate or undermine co-workers are always unacceptable.

In this article, we look at what anger is and why some people get angry, while others don't.

What Is Anger?

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines anger as "a strong feeling of displeasure and usually of antagonism." Psychologist T.W. Smith agrees, saying it is "an unpleasant emotion ranging in intensity from irritation or annoyance to fury or rage." But what makes people angry is different for everyone. Things that spark ire in some people don't bother others at all. Yet we all regularly experience events that could make us angry. They include:
  • Frustration and powerlessness.
  • Hurt.
  • Harassment and bullying from stress
  • Threats to the people, things, or ideas that we hold dear.

    Recognizing Anger

    Anger and aggression are not the same thing. Anger is an emotion, while aggression is a behavior. Not everyone who feels angry is aggressive, and vice versa. Sometimes people are aggressive because they feel afraid or threatened. Not everyone who's angry yells or seeks confrontation. Some people let their anger out by ignoring people or by sulking, or through sarcasm. People who behave this way are called passive-aggressive, and they can be as difficult to deal with as those who scream and shout. Other people react entirely passively to anger. They show no outward signs of anger, no matter how furious they are. But these people may be doing themselves more damage by suppressing their emotions than those who show their anger.

    The Dangers of Anger

    An appropriate level of anger can spur us to take proper actions, solve problems,  and handle situations constructively.  However, uncontrolled anger can have many negative consequences, especially in the workplace. It can cloud our ability to make good decisions and find creative solutions to problems. It can affect relationships with co-workers. And it can destroy trust between team members.

    Effective team working is based on sharing ideas in a supportive environment. If people think the team leader is going to fly into a rage as soon as they suggest something, they'll stop contributing, and the team will stop functioning at its best.

    Unexpressed anger can be as harmful as outward rage. The angry person who doesn't express his or her anger may bear grudges or see himself as a victim.  His colleagues may not realize that there's a problem, so they may be less likely to be able to help him.

    Frequent anger, whether expressed or not, poses health risks, too. One study found that people who get angry regularly are more likely to suffer from heart disease. Research has also highlighted a link between anger and premature death. Further studies have discovered that anger correlates to anxiety and depression. Seeking the advice of qualified health professionals if you have concerns over persistent anger is important to get the support you need.

    Controlling Anger

    It's important to deal with anger in a healthy manner, so that it doesn't harm you or anyone else. First, recognize that the problem exists. Sometimes people don't understand that their anger is an issue, either for themselves or for others. They may blame other things: people, processes, institutions, even inanimate objects like computers. You probably know people like this, or maybe you recognize it in yourself. You can tackle this by developing self-awareness which can help you to understand how others see you, and in turn enable you to manage your emotions better.

    Also, it's important to be resilient. Being able to bounce back from disappointment and frustration is much healthier than becoming angry about it. It's also good to learn to take control of your own situation, and to avoid believing that you're powerless. Get used to speaking up for yourself and telling people when you think that they're wrong.

    Here are some more practical steps that you can take to prevent or manage anger:

    Learn to recognize the onset of anger. When you become angry, your heart rate rises and you breathe faster. It's the classic fight-or-flight response. Be vigilant, so that you can begin to deal with the source of your anger before it builds up.
    Give yourself a time-out. Try to stop yourself "leaping in" with an angry response to a situation. Count to 10 before you act.
    Breathe slowly. Regulating your breathing
    helps to combat the onset of anger, calms you down, and allows you to think clearly.
    Take the longer view. If your anger is recurrent, you may need to take a more strategic approach to dealing with it.

    Dealing With Someone Else's Anger

    It's important to demonstrate emotional intelligence when dealing with angry people. This helps you to keep your own feelings in check, while respecting the fact that others may be struggling with theirs.

    Try the following six approaches for dealing with someone's anger:
    1. Remain calm. Stay cool and let the other person express her feelings. Show that you really are listening and reassure her that you want to understand what the problem is. Never meet anger with anger. But don't allow yourself to be manipulated or browbeaten.
    2. Remember that you're talking to a person. Everybody behaves differently, and you need to treat an angry team member as an individual. If you are his manager you are due some respect, but so is he. Empathize and try to understand his point of view.
    3. Don't just quote the rule book. Quoting company policy at someone when she's in a rage won't be effective, and it can make a bad situation worse. It's OK to be assertive and seek a solution once you've calmed things down, but using the rule book is not the way.
    4. Be positive. Show that you want to resolve the negative situation to everyone's benefit. This doesn't mean that you need to give in, just that you show you're taking his concerns seriously and seeking resolution.
    5. Keep it private. Don't allow "a scene" to develop. Find a meeting room or private space. This will allow you to have a proper discussion, and demonstrates discretion and tact.  Alternatively, suggest a walking meeting to help to calm things down.
    6. Be aware of unexpressed anger. It won't always be obvious that someone is angry. Look out for signs such as someone avoiding particular subjects or actions, going quiet in meetings, or avoiding eye contact. You may need to draw out the problem with careful use of questioning techniques instead.

    Key Points

    Anger is an emotion we all feel, and one that many people find hard to deal with. It can manifest itself in aggressive, confrontational behavior, or in more passive but no less damaging ways. Start to manage your anger by recognizing it. Then, take steps to address it by tackling the source of your anger. Use relaxation techniques to deal with outbursts. In the longer term, try to develop self-awareness, emotional intelligence and resilience to cope better with angry feelings. When you're dealing with the anger of co-workers, show empathy, and try to understand the root of their problem. Don't back down, however, and assert yourself calmly if you feel that someone else is using anger to try to impose their will on you.

    Source: Mindtools

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    Gain Coping Skills During Challenging Times


    Change is inevitable. Sometimes it can be positive – business growth or a pay raise and other times it can be painful – losing your job or a personal loss. Often the hardest changes to understand and adjust to are the ones that are unexpected and out of our control – a recession, a global pandemic, or a major disaster. Changes of this magnitude can be difficult to come to terms with, but you'll often find that your experience of them can be made better or worse depending on your reaction and your attitude. Lets explore the different ways in which people tend to approach change, the reactions that you might have, and how to best cope with it.

    How People Cope With Change

    People tend to cope with change in one of two ways:

    1. Escape coping.
    2. Control coping.
    Escape coping is based on avoidance. You take deliberate actions to avoid the difficulties of the change. For instance, you might deliberately miss training for a new working process, or show up too late to attend a meeting about an upcoming restructure. Maybe you'll trash letters from your HR department about layoffs, or ignore calls from a co-worker who's just got the promotion that you wanted. Some people even take refuge in alcohol or drugs.

    Control coping, on the other hand, is positive and proactive. You refuse to behave like a "victim" of change. Instead, you manage your feelings, get support, and do whatever you can to be part of the change

    In reality, most of us respond to major change with a mixture of escape and control coping. But control coping is generally the better option, as it is impossible to avoid the reality of change for long without becoming exhausted or damaging your reputation.

    Stages of Reacting to Change

    Change can be difficult because it can challenge how we think, how we work, the quality of our relationships, and even our physical security or sense of identity. We usually react to change in four stages:

    1. Shock and disorientation.
    2. Anger and other emotional responses.
    3. Coming to terms with the "new normal."
    4. Acceptance and moving forward.
    But our progression through these stages is rarely simple or linear. We might get stuck in one stage, or advance quickly but then regress. And there is often no clear-cut, decisive move from one stage to another. Shock can change to anger, for example, with no obvious break between the two. Here are the four stages in more detail.

    Stage 1: Shock and Disorientation

    Experiencing a sudden, big change can feel like a physical blow. For example, a global financial crisis may result in significant losses and redundancies. This may sweep away roles and relationships that you've cultivated for years, leading to instability. Or, a sudden bereavement or health issue may change your fundamental outlook on life.

    In the initial stage of coping, you'll likely feel confused and uncertain. Your first priority should be to seek reliable information and to make sense of the situation.

    Ask for updates from your manager and HR department, research other people's similar experiences, and talk through your concerns with family and friends. If available, contact another relevant support group. Be sure to distance yourself from gossip and rumors – they are often baseless and negative, and will likely cause you more pain and anxiety, not less.

    Start to objectively examine the level of threat that you're facing. Are there potential benefits that you've overlooked? Might an enforced change in your job role allow you to learn a valuable new skill, or to work with new people, for example? You'll likely not reach any firm conclusions at this stage, but try to remain as positive as you can.

    Stage 2: Anger and Other Emotional Responses

    Initial disorientation at the prospect of change usually gives way to a wave of strong emotions. You might be angry about a downgrade of your role, or fearful about the impact that a layoff will have on your family.
    Even if the change in your circumstances is something that you've instigated yourself, you may find yourself swinging between optimism and pessimism. This is quite natural, and it's a normal step on the way to resolving your situation.

    It's important to avoid suppressing your emotions, but it's equally key to manage them. So, acknowledge the way you feel, but be sure to assess what you can express openly (such as general comments about a project's progress) and what you should probably keep to yourself (opinions about a colleague' performance, for example). Don't be too surprised or embarrassed if you find yourself in tears at work. This is a natural reaction to the uncertainty and confusion that often follows a sudden change. One way of coping with change is to build up your resilience skills.

    Stage 3: Coming to Terms With the "New Normal"

    During this stage, your focus will likely start to shift away from what you've lost and toward what's new. This process may be slow, and you might be reluctant to acknowledge it, but it's an essential part of coping with change. The key here is to make a commitment to move on. Start to explore more deeply what the change means. Your instinct may be to behave resentfully and to be unwilling to cooperate, but this may cause yourself and others harm. So, search for and emphasize the positive aspects of your developing situation. At the same time, be patient.  Remember, coming to terms with change is a gradual process.

    It's vital that you avoid pretending that everything's OK if it's not. So, if you find yourself regressing to Stage 2, give yourself time to recover. Use affirmations to improve your self-confidence, and ask for help from friends or a mentor.

    Stage 4: Acceptance and Moving Forward

    This is the stage when you come to fully accept your changed circumstances. Acceptance doesn't mean giving up entirely on your former situation. You'll have valuable memories, skills and relationships to carry forward, but the point is that you are moving on, whether in your career or in your wider life.
    Draw up a personal mission statement and a legacy statement to stay on track. Then set yourself goals and create an action plan to make the most of your new situation.

    Summary

    Change comes in many forms, but leaving behind what we know and are used to is almost always stressful, even if we've made the change ourselves. Coping strategies generally fall into two categories: "escape" and "control." Most people use a mixture of both to cope with change, but control strategies are generally a healthier way to work through change and offer the greatest long-term benefits. People are more likely to progress through these stages successfully if they acknowledge their feelings, explore the facts, stay positive, draw on their support networks, and give themselves time to adapt.     Source:Mindtools

     
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    Calm Your Mind



    At this time dealing with the Corvid-19 Pandemic, It's important to have patience and connect again with simple pleasures that bring comfort and peace.

     
    “The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God. As long as this exists, and it certainly always will, then there will be comfort for every sorrow, whatever the circumstances may be.” —Anne Frank

    Eliminate the Fear of Being Judged!


    All of us go through events in our social life where we fear being negatively judged by others. Perhaps you have made your own judgments throughout your life about certain people and what you think of them. 

    Making judgments about others is something the human brain likes to do. From an evolutionary standpoint, we had to judge others as “friends” or “foes” to protect ourselves from people who might be a threat to our tribe or community.

    Those who were disliked or viewed as a threat were eventually ostracized, punished, or killed. So most of us have a hard-wired response to try and be liked and accepted by others, which explains many fears and anxieties associated with our social interactions.

    Despite this tendency, we can find ways to get over the judgments people will make about us on a daily basis. We learn to become less sensitive to them and not let them so easily get under our skin or make us upset. This article will cover these different aspects of how to let go of people always judging us.

    Accept that everyone has an opinion
    The first step is recognizing that everyone is going to have an opinion about you, for better or worse.

    We often think of “judging” as a negative thing, but when someone tells you they like you, or that you’re smart, or a cool person, that’s a type of judging too – it just happens to be a very positive one.
    Throughout your life you’re going to meet many different people, and some of those people you’re going to “click” with better than others. You can’t expect to win over everyone, so be willing to accept that some people won’t like you, and some people will.

    Anyone who puts themselves out there and let’s their true personality shine through is going to have their fair share of critics. Once you begin to expect it, it doesn’t become as shocking or bothersome when someone says something insulting or cruel.

    Become less judging of others
    Usually people who fear judgments the most are the ones that are very judgmental themselves.

    If we have an excessively judgmental attitude against people, and we’re always trying to compare individuals as “superior” or “inferior,” then we project that attitude onto others, believing that they too are always judging us as “superior” or “inferior.”

    Try to be kinder and more understanding toward others, and you won’t have such a hostile and cynical view of the world. You can find the good in anyone if you’re willing to see it – and once you cultivate this attitude, you’ll be more likely to expect others to reciprocate this attitude toward you.

    We are all susceptible to what is known as fundamental attribution error. This is when we overestimate the influence of personal factors when someone does something “stupid” or “bad,” and we underestimate the influence of situational factors. 

    Remember, everyone is capable of making bad decisions in the wrong situation, and even you yourself aren’t always perfect. This will allow you to be gentler in your judgments toward both yourself and others.

    Move past bad first impressions
    First impressions can have a strong influence over how people view us, but they aren’t set in stone.

    If you did something wrong the first time you met someone (insulted, mocked, or offended them), then it may be appropriate to apologize before you can move on. However, most of the time we can move past these first impressions simply by making better second, third, and fourth impressions.

    The more time someone spends with you the more they get to know the real you. No one can tell everything about you when they first meet you, it takes multiple interactions to really learn about someone.

    As people get to know you more, their first impression of you will become less important. I have friends today who I didn’t always get off with on the right foot, but now we look back on those experiences and just laugh. You just have to be willing to take a longer view in your relationships.

    Avoid people who are too negative (if you can)
    We all have our limits and some people can be unbearably negative and tiresome to be around.

    If you have a choice, sometimes the only thing you can do is to avoid the person more. If you know they’re going to be at a party, then don’t go there. If you work with them, try to limit interactions to just work-related talk. And if it’s a negative friend, you may want to consider finding new people to hang out with.

    It’s not the most pleasant solution, but it may be necessary if you can’t find anyway to tolerate a person’s negative and overly judgmental attitude.

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