“I” and “credibility” can’t be separated
by Joseph John
I can’t tell you how many times I have looked at the word credibility and written about it. But sometimes, the expression, “You can’t see the forest for the trees,” really does apply to me.
OK. Are you intrigued? What in the world am I talking about? Well, if you look at the word “credibility” you will note that the letter “I” is used three times. Almost 30% of the word “credibility” is comprised of the letter “I”.
The significance? Because “credibility” IS all about the “I”. Credibility begins with the “I,” with the me — no one else — not him, her or them. “I” am responsible for personal credibility. I can gain it. I can expand my credibility. Unfortunately, I can lose it as well. And if I lose it, I have an extremely difficult time in regaining it.
Credibility means I can’t ignore my responsibility to be truthful, transparent and genuine. IF, I want to establish credibility, then the basis of that credibility is having people believe in me.
AND, if people are going to believe in me, then “I” am the one responsible for ensuring that believability by being genuine and up front.
Graham Jones writes about what he terms as “the credibility pyramid” — a very interesting concept. In his work, Jones states that of the four components that comprise the pyramid, only a “… a small percentage of [a person’s] credibility is knowledge…and then if you add to the knowledge base, focus and enthusiasm, you only have half of what makes up [a person’s] credibility. The other half is all about caring and concern for the other person’s well-being.”
Caring and Concern. That can’t be faked. If “I” am not caring and show concern for people, then “I” have no credibility.
In the company I worked for prior to my retirement, we were challenged to live everyday by uttering ten small, but very powerful words: “If it’s to be, it’s up to me.” Well, that’s what credibility is all about: If “I” am to be credible, it is up to me.