Credibility is earned hard and maintained even harder. It’s not easy to gain high trustworthiness for anyone, individual or business or an organisation. We see names of specific companies and instantly repose a level of credibility to their products and services. Similarly, we can rely on some individuals for their professionalism and credibility. This happens because of past experiences of our own or of others. It also may be because of consistency in the delivery of products, services and behaviour. Unless that consistency is maintained, the credibility is in danger. Big brands spend millions to build that brand value and goodwill, which is equivalent to reputation and standing.

As an individual, others have certain expectations of us either because of our personality, personal relationship or professional capacity. It is pertinent for us to maintain the same. If we fail in delivering that expectation, our credibility is lost. While it is true that credibility is about reasonableness. We cannot certainly satisfy people with highly unrealistic and sensitive demands, and that should not be considered our fault. But if the demand or expectation is reasonable, what we are supposed to do for them, what is expected out of us as an individual or company or organisation, failing into that is really a cause of concern. The soundness of your character is affected in such a situation.

To maintain credibility, we need to make sure that we deliver what we promise. This promise may be direct or indirect, expressly conveyed or indirectly inferred. Take the example of an executive in a company who is required to present a report to higher management but he is unable to deliver it within the timeline. If it happens once, acceptable. Happens twice, questionable. If it happens again and again, he won’t have any credibility in the company, and maybe after some time, he won’t even have the job. Same thing about a company which sells some products or services. Customers would buy them once or twice, but the third time they would not trust them. This is more relevant in the hospitality industry and after-sales services. The dependability of customers on your offered services reduces.

In a relationship, if you promise to help someone, and don’t remain true to your words, no one will rely on you. That’s called loss of credibility. It also means when you need a loan from them, they won’t trust your words about the actual need or your words of returning the borrowed amount at the promised time. Credibility is about being trusted and relied upon. It is the ability to be convincing and believable. It speaks of a person’s character.

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