4 Ways to Build Credibility For Your Business

Posted by Chuck Kocher
On October 28, 2013

When we think about how to achieve business success we tend to think about strategies, financials, innovation, marketing, supply chains, and windows of opportunity. All of those things are valid—and worth our attention. But how many of us think about things like credibility?

And yet, in his book The Speed of Trust, best-selling author Steven Covey talks about how the ability to build trust with customers, bosses, co-workers, and subordinates is crucial to business success. Covey maintains that, “When trust goes up, speed will also go up and cost will go down.”

Building trust—both within the company and with those outside the company—increases the speed at which business is done. And that can be a powerful success factor.

But how do you build trust with customers, bosses, co-workers, and subordinates? Covey suggests that trust is built on credibility: On being able to trust yourself and on being a person/company others can trust. And he maintains that credibility is built on four essential cores.

1. Integrity: This is more than just “being honest.” It includes acting in a way that’s consistent with what you say you value. It also includes a big dose of humility, which is evidenced by being more concerned about doing the right thing than being right. And it includes having the courage to do the right thing regardless of the consequences.

2. Intent: This core is built on your motives. Why do you do what you do? That is reflected in your agenda: It’s not enough to want to do the right thing; you have to make specific plans to follow through. Your agenda is then fulfilled by your specific behavior (the working out of your agenda).

3. Capabilities: Great ideas are a good starting point, but they require the right talent, attitude, skills, knowledge, and style in order to transform ideas into reality.  You—and the people you work with—have to possess all of those things if you’re going to be capable of delivering on your promises.

4. Results: People trust those who deliver results. You can’t pay the bills with ideas and promises. If you want people to trust you (inside your company or outside), you have to deliver results. A lot of businesses fall down in this area because they measure activity instead of results. Business isn’t about being busy—it’s about getting things done. A second area where businesses often fall short is that they don’t finish strong. Does your company deliver 95 percent of a solution? Or do your customers feel like you’ve done everything you can to make sure they are satisfied and that what you delivered solves their problem?

How’s your integrity? Do you consistently “do the right thing?” What is your intent? Are you doing things for the right reason? How are your capabilities? Do you have the talent, attitude, skills, knowledge, and style to perform? And are you delivering (and measuring) results?

That builds credibility. And that leads to trust. And that leads to true business success.