24/03/2015

By Sarah Lane, executive coach, author of ‘Choices: from confusion to clarity’, Nominated in Small Biz Book Awards 2014


Credibility is one of those things that you can’t easily define, you certainly can’t buy and that every business leader needs to become a success. It’s hard to describe in words and yet you feel it as soon as you meet some people. So what are the things that seem to make up credibility?

Over the last decade of being invited in to work with some of the most inspiring leaders and teams in the UK I’ve noticed some themes emerging. Those individuals who have that special quality that we might call credibility are:

• Authenticity — they know what they stand for
• Physically strong — they have a heightened awareness of their bodies
• Articulate — they understand the impact of their words on others
• Learners — they know their subject and crave new learning opportunities

So if you’re keen to build credibility in your business then these are great levers to start considering. The interesting thing is that they are all linked. Our physiology, language and emotional state are hardwired together in our neurology. No matter where you are from, what experiences you have had through life or what you believe, every external event has an internal reaction connected to it. Focus on knowing that when we have a positive impact on one of them then the others get stronger too.

For now let’s begin with considering our words, in being articulate. The words you use not only communicate facts but also have an impact on your emotions and your body. Your body references and connects words to experiences. These experiences come with different levels of tension in the body, different reactions and even different chemicals being released into your body. If you were to take a moment, close your eyes, and imagine that you are about to take a bite of a lemon, the chances are that your mouth will begin to water — totally involuntarily. The way you talk about things either to others or to yourself has an incredible impact on your whole being.

How do you currently talk about your business and your teams? Are they focused on being the best or on killing the competition? Both in theory, would create competition but in very different ways. Try them on for size emotionally and notice the way your body feels as you take on each version. Which is more motivating. Which fits the cultural aspirations of your business? A few changes in language can make a world of difference.

Tip - Using the power of words to your advantage and recognising the impact they have for you can put you in a really resourceful place — a place where you feel like you have a greater number of choices and the ability to make good ones.

Remember the body-mind connection is literal. Use it to your advantage to build credibility in your business and teams.