How To Build Your Credibility By Eliminating These 5 Deadly Phrases

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As a leader, you begin each day with a certain amount of “credibility chips” in your pocket. But if you use any of these phrases, those credibility chips are falling out of your pocket every time.

And when you’re low on credibility, you’re low on the ability to lead effectively.

Do you ever find yourself using one of these phrases?

1. “I’ve been meaning to…”

Your leadership credibility is built on what you’ve done, not on what you said you would do. And besides, people can usually tell when “I’ve been meaning to…” really just means, “I forgot to…”

2. “I’m sorry, but…”

“I’m sorry for missing the meeting, but I’ve been really busy lately.” “I’m sorry for dragging my feet on this project, but things are really backed up in the warehouse…” Pick your excuse. As soon as you’ve added “but” to your apology, you’ve damaged your leadership credibility.

3. “This is the worst ever (best ever)…”

Hyperbole has become widespread in leadership circles, and it’s causing untold damage to leaders’ credibility every time. “These results were great” is good enough. As soon as you add, “of all time”, “in history”, or any other exaggerations, your credibility takes a hit.

4. “My biggest fault is that I work too hard…”

Augh, how many times have you heard a variation of this humble-brag? When leaders resort to such thinly-veiled boasts, their credibility, and their likability, takes a dive.

5. “That’s not my problem.”

Leadership means responsibility. While not every situation that arises is necessarily your specific problem, as a leader it falls upon you to work with the team to come up with a solution.

If you’ve been finding that your leadership has not been as sharp lately, that perhaps you’ve been struggling to produce results, it could be that your team is not responding to your leadership.

And the culprit might be found in your credibility.

So be sure you are avoiding using phrases like these. Because when you avoid these, you can be sure that your credibility, and your leadership, will rebound.

the author

Scott Cochrane

Lifelong learner, practitioner and coach of leadership, across more than 50 countries. Follower of Jesus, husband of Nora, grateful parent and grandparent.


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