Do You Have A Credibility Gap?

What is a credibility gap? A credibility gap occurs when your words and actions aren’t in line with one another.  You words aren’t always needed to create the gap, your tacit approval or acceptance to standards or requirements will do just as well. When you have a credibility gap at your workplace, it is damaging to your reputation and to your career. And if you’re in a leadership or customer service role, your credibility gap could be hurting your company.

Tindell explained. The more your actions, words, and values are aligned, the smaller your credibility gap will be.

Bridging the credibility gap takes time and effort, and it is much easier to lose credibility than to gain it back.

The most effective way to start bridging the credibility gap is to be more aware of what you say. Think through whether your words might be perceived as promises. Eg, “I’ll call you next week,” “I’ll get back to your proposal soon,” or “I’ll send the check by end of this month.” These seem like the kind of things we are all guilty of over-promising and under-delivering. Create a system to keep track of those promises. If you make a promise in the heat of the moment, or if you do not have the resources to follow through with your word, don’t avoid the issue — explicitly seek forgiveness. By acknowledging that you made a promise you couldn’t keep, you actually make yourself more credible.

Wise leaders reflect on their credibility with questions like:

  • Am I saying something that implies a promise? What are the odds I can or will actually follow through?
  • How can I articulate my ideas and concerns in such a way as to not raise false expectations?
  • What kind of credibility do I currently have with my family, my organization, and my community? What kind of credibility do I want?
  • Where or with whom do I have special difficulty bridging my credibility gap?
  • Who can support me in keeping my word?

How are you minding your credibility gap? What is working and what is missing?

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