Three Things You Should Know About Communicating Credibility

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    As leaders of an organization, as trainers and managers, or anyone single employee in our organization, it is essential we are able by communicating credibility and by doing so reflect positively on the credibility of our organization.

    We all want to communicate well. It is the key to our success. If we do it well.

    Like a tree falling in the woods a thousand miles away that no one hears, if your audience numbering one or a thousand doesn’t “hear” your message the result is the same. Nothing happens. You’re credible in your mind only.

    “If I follow the script,” you think, “everything should fall in place.” But it doesn’t. “Why? How can I fix it?” You say it is an established program proven to work. You say all the right things. It should work.

    Ever say something you regretted because you didn’t consider your audience? Everyone has had those embarrassing moments. The difference between us and the animals is our big brains and our mouths (often big) that can form words and sentences to communicate ideas—not just immediate needs or express emotions, and yet sometimes we speak on automatic to get the job done. So, we are “embarrassed” by not seeing the “who” we are talking to until it is too late.

    We have made a habit of going about our business and forgetting the basics of communication. In any organization, we make a plan. We probably make a “big picture” communication plan so we know how we will get the word out, but what about our messengers? The messengers need to plan how to communicate that plan, or any plan, or any instruction, or any sales pitch, in the same way. Look at the factors involved. What is my purpose, who am I talking to, and how do I say what I need to say?

    There are three things you should know to effectively communicate your credibility:

    1. Know your audience,
    2. Know your subject, and
    3. Know yourself.

    Understanding what I want to say seems easy at first, but that may depend on the “who.” Of course, you have to know what you want in the communication. And if we don’t know “why,” then we shouldn’t have the job we do.

    It may sound a little like Abbott and Costello’s famous bit about “Who’s on first, but this is all about communication or miscommunication. If the classic situation didn’t ring true to us in some way, it wouldn’t be funny. After all, miscommunication and misunderstanding are at the heart of comedy. However, it is the credibility we are after.

    We have to know about our audience to know how to present our subject to that audience in a way that has the desired result. And since we are doing the communicating, shouldn’t we consider ourselves part of the equation? We are the catalyst. We make the message memorable by adding the spice of our education, our expertise or our experience, and the bottom line: our credibility.

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