How to Build Credibility as a New Manager
Only 49 percent of employees trust their senior management, according to Inc. In addition, just 28 percent of workers believe their CEOs are a source of credible information. These statistics show how difficult building credibility can be for management. Managers who are unable to build credibility face a variety of problems that can hurt their ability to lead. Without leadership credibility, a company can expect lower productivity, more opposition from employees and higher turnover.
What Is Credibility?
According to Merriam-Webster, credibility is “the quality of being believed or accepted as true, real or honest.” Credibility is a major part of any workplace and can be developed with experience and expertise in a particular subject. But it can also be measured subjectively with charisma and emotion.
Why Is Leadership Credibility Important?
Without credibility, everything you say or do can and will be questioned. If employees feel like you are not credible, they will not trust you or follow your directions. Credibility can be difficult to earn and maintain, but it can go a long way toward helping you in the workplace. Your credibility also extends outside your organization to customers and clients. If someone does not believe you are credible, your word will not go very far.
How to Build Credibility
All new managers must build their credibility. Even if your resume is stacked with experience, there will be hurdles to overcome before being a well-respected leader of your team. Here are five ways to build credibility.
Trust is the most important part of credibility. Your word should be sacred. Your employees should know that if you say something, you mean it. Lying can crush any efforts you make, so it’s imperative that you are truthful. Providing background or feedback that can harm others or appear manipulative can have an adverse effect. If you do have to go back on your word, providing a detailed and legitimate explanation can help any hits to your credibility.
Show Your Knowledge
Showing that you have what it takes to accomplish tasks is a great way to instill confidence and put your colleagues at ease. Knowledge will not always translate to leadership, but it is imperative that you showcase your abilities to tackle the job ahead. Beware of over-flexing your muscles at the expense of team members; you want to ensure that you are valuing others while still doing what is required.
Offering empathy for your team members can show that you care for them beyond the workplace. It shows that you care about your employees, their backgrounds, their needs and their desires. If you are unable to show empathy, you could appear out of touch. Employees may be less respectful. However, managers should avoid being overzealous and crossing professional lines. Doing so could lead to serious repercussions.
Objectivity is important, especially in the case of conflicts. You cannot take sides and must make decisions as objectively as possible. Call upon your knowledge to take objective stances. When necessary, eliminate topics that do not pertain to the current goal. As a manager, you have to show that your energy and resources are focused on keeping the team moving forward, not on playing politics.
When your team is successful, it’s important to recognize that. You will gain credibility if you show appreciation for your team members and their accomplishments. This is true for both group achievements and individual ones. By promoting the success of your individual employees, it empowers them to reach for success more often.
How to Maintain Credibility
Keeping credibility can be just as difficult as building credibility. Managers make countless decisions each day, some of which have a big effect on their credibility. Here are four ways to maintain your credibility over time.
It is important to be honest over the long term. If you tell employees that completing a task will precipitate a particular accomplishment, then keep that promise. If you make promises you can’t keep, your team will take notice and expect less of you. Keeping promises may sometimes involve butting heads with your manager or other company leaders, but it will keep your team happy.
Take Responsibility for Mistakes
Bad things will happen, and sometimes they will be your fault. Some managers blame failure on their employees in order to save their reputation with others, but that can be detrimental. If you mess up, talk it through with your team. What went wrong and how can you ensure it does not happen again?
Look at the Bigger Picture
In today’s busy workplaces, it can be easy to lose sight of the larger goal and focus on details. As a manager, you should not get caught up in minor obstacles. Showing your employees that you are capable of moving on from small hiccups will allow them to follow. If you get bogged down, don’t be afraid to remind others of the final goal. There’s something bigger to work toward, and your team should understand that.
Grow Your Team
While it is important to display your skills and experience to gain credibility, part of maintaining credibility involves helping others learn. If an employee shows particular interest in something you do that is a little outside their job description, encourage them to learn from you. This can help them grow closer to you and increase their skills. Team members can also learn from one another and learn more about each other’s jobs. This cross-training comes in handy in stressful situations and shows you’re interested in professional development.
Your education is a key aspect of becoming a skilled manager. A Master of Business Administration can provide the knowledge and tools you need to command respect in the workplace. Touro University Worldwide’s fully online MBA program offers an affordable and convenient learning experience that is ideal for working students.