One of the most valuable assets of a leader is personal credibility. Credibility is a perception and we are perceived as credible by our habits. A habit is formed when behaviours are repeated over a period of time.
Here is an opportunity for you to do a self-assessment of your credibility. Given below is a list of 8 credibility habits and a brief explanation of each. In order to know your current level of credibility, read each value and mark a score from 1 to 5 [Poor to Excellent] in front of each habit. You could also give this list to your team members and ask them to rate you to see the difference between your self-assessment and the perception of others.
- Show Up On Time: Rating: ____
Questions to ponder: Do I do things on time. Do I arrive at meetings on time? Am totally present, emotionally, mentally and spiritually in addition to just my physical self.
- Do What You Say: Rating: ____
Questions to ponder: Do I make promises I can definitely keep even under pressure? Do I keep the promises I make? Do I under promise and over deliver?
- Finish What You Start: Rating: ____
Questions to ponder: Do I plan my projects. Do I set realistic deadlines? Do I take my projects to a satisfactory conclusion as per the plan? Do I do a project completion report even if the project had to be shelved with consensus due to justifiable reasons?
- Be Courteous & Encouraging to Everyone: Rating: ____
Questions to ponder: Do I show courtesy only to those who I can benefit from. Do it show courtesy for even the unknown person. Do I even show courtesy to my competitor? Do I encourage only the best or only those who need encouragement. Do I also encourage those team members who try to make life challenging for me?
- Ask, Don’t Assume: Rating: ____
Questions to ponder: When unsure of an instruction received do I clarify from the sender without assuming. Do I ask even if you feel the answer might be negative, just in case it goes your way? When I need some thing I deserve do I have the confidence to ask, even if it is someone I don’t know too well.
- If You Come Across a Problem, own It: Rating: ____
Questions to ponder: When someone brings me a problem do I listen to the details wholeheartedly. Do I promise to look into it even if it is not my area of responsibility? Do I navigate through internal bureaucracy and help find a solution or handover the problem to someone who can resolve it? Do you follow up to ensure the problem is solved and update the person who bought the problem to you, until it is resolved?
- Be Coachable: Rating: ____
Questions to ponder: Am I open to coaching from anyone, even someone who is less educated or junior to me? Do I also appreciate such feedback? If I do not agree with the content of feedback, do I at least appreciate the intent? Even if I feel the intent is negative, do it still attempt to leave the emotion aside and take the learning?
- Give a little bit more than expected of you: Rating: ____
Questions to ponder: Do I do those simple things like using the words, please, thank you, sorry etc. when not expected from me or do I take things for granted? Do I add a helpful comment or a smiley face on the envelope when sending that report? Do I follow up after sending that report to check if it met the needs and if further improvements are needed? Do I get to meetings before time, fully prepared, ready to go? Do I exceed targets set for me?
All these habits enhance our personal BRAND image. As the personal BRAND gets strengthened our value and demand enhances. We are trusted and respected better by those around us. Our ability to influence becomes stronger. Since leadership is about the ability to influence, in the final analysis these habits enhance our leadership effectiveness.