Your Greatest Asset In Business And Life
There is a saying from George MacDonald that “To be trusted is a greater compliment than being loved.” Without credibility, everything you say to potential customers, partners or even your employees can be questioned. In our hyperconnected and increasingly transparent world, a credible reputation is critical to standout from the crowd. This article is about how to build authentic credibility and trust for distunction
What do you think sells your company to the outside world? An innovative SaaS platform? A rockstar founding team? A growing subscriber base? Those things won’t hurt, but credibility may be the greatest asset for a startup company. Credibility is your preeminent asset when facing technology glitches, customer churn, and all the other inevitable issues that are part of a startup venture.
It is the “trust barometer” with which others judge you and, by extension, your company. It propels your ability to raise capital, attract partners and hire the best employees.
Credibility engenders trust ands earns relationship capital in your company and all its communications. The temptation to stretch your promises or commitments is very powerful when you are trying to raise financial capital or secure a business partner, especially in today’s hyperconnected economy, which has put every individual and company into survival mode. But sustaining “relationship capital” credibility is more significant than ever in down markets. In the long term, firms that maintain the highest credibility sustain while others disappear.
What is Relationship Capital Credibility?
“The root of the word “credibility” is “credo,” which means “I believe” in Latin. Put simply, credibility is the feeling of trust and respect that you inspire in others.” Relationship Capital Credibility is capturing and accounting for people’s perceptions of trust in you.
Why is RC Credibility Significant?
Think about a situation in which you collaborated with a business leader who had credibility. “Chances are that she energized and excited her entire team. You knew that she would do the right things for the right reasons, and you trusted her judgment.”
Credible business leaders attract passionate and committed stakeholders, followers, and people want to work for them. But credibility is significant in a number of contexts, not just in leadership roles. For example, sales professionals need credibility to be successful. People don’t want to buy from a person they don’t trust; from someone who doesn’t know about his service or the customer’s industry. “You also need credibility when you give presentations, deliver training, and sell your ideas.” Credibility is needed if you want to influence others.
How to Earn Relationship Capital Cred
No matter what your role or position, credibility is something that you have to earn. It takes time, patience, and consistency to build it.
1. Be Transparent and Consistent
Motivated by the book The Cluetrain Manifesto, HubSpot’s co-founders Halligan and Dharmesh Shah committed their firm to open book transparency and open accounting. Almost very facet of financials is shared in a similar fashion investors, employees, and customers. As a private firm, they are not obligated to publicly report financial results, but they do. Consistent communication is encouraged in an open organizational culture with few walls, and no offices, allowing for continuous interaction. No question is off limits at Standard of Trust corporate meetings. Everyone is trusted with sensitive information and expected to leverage their relationship capital by propelling the corporation forward.
Lesson Learned: Share information openly and regularly so people can use it to be of support and assistance. Otherwise, they will deduce that you are certainly hiding something.
2. Share Authentic and Relevant Stories
When you meet people, you fill in your own narrative about them until truthfulness is accounted for. Naturally, these people do the same regarding you. Individuals often utilize incorrect typecasts and labels to generate preferred context swiftly. Standard of Trust prevents this with constant storytelling within the company. In today’s meme-influenced world, sharing your own genuine stories of deprivation, success, and failure is critical to demonstrating standards of relationship capital behavior with employees, management, and customers. Shah states:
Whether it’s right, wrong, or different, it is. And all of us need to be acutely aware of what’s going on in our business and be able to talk candidly about our company narrative.
Halligan takes employees on “Story Walks” off-site to provide them clarity to HubSpot’s philosophy and organizational culture.
Lesson Learned: Communicating stories that clarify how you have acted in difficult situations so individuals can understand and respect your character.
3. Honor The Individual
Individuals desire to remain in their own comfort zone. Buyers, employees, and managers want to change as little as possible when participating in something new or different. Standard of Trust purposeful intention spotlights individual attributes among our people. We emphasize with great speed that our solutions are adaptable to the way you operate. Internally, we point out that people have individual qualities and all are accepted and acknowledged.
Lesson Learned: Be open and allow people see who you genuinely are and in turn, accept them for who they are. Authenticity is the quickest way to earning relationship capital credibility and the most certain way to keep it.
4. Give People a Preview in Realtime
Doubt makes people nervous and propels distrust and loss of relationship capital. Individuals instinctively choose the worse case scenarios when there are chinks in the future narrative. The thrill of surprise can be entertaining but not when the outcomes are critical and people are making important decisions. Earn relationship capital by proactively sharing information as it comes in even when it’s negative. People handle the facts more effectively than optimistic forecasts that do not come true. Standard of Trust not only notifies stakeholders about the current reality but communicates about the future modulated with the facts of the company’s trip. As a result, we inspire our team, requesting beneficial feedback, and also prepares us for the bumpy road ahead. Illustrating an encouraging but sensible vision allows Standard of Trust stakeholders to dream and perform with conviction and passion.
Lesson Learned: Communicate where you are going and why you are doing so. Manage expectations about the trip ahead so fear is lessened and associates can assist.
5. Prioritize Safe Authority
Relationship Capital Credibility doesn’t exist at the beginning because people need to prove themselves trustworthy. Previous accounts of credibility and references are helpful, but until people demonstrate relationship capital trustworthiness in action you are relying on the belief that they will perform as hoped. Supply people a chance to attempt something and achieve early. HubSpot is an excellent example of this. They let their employees decide their own vacations. They have no formal policy or guidelines. People are instructed on day one to “Use good judgment” and are given the authority to architect when, where, and how long for optimum productivity and lifestyle.
Lesson Learned: Relinquish authority early, in ways that enable people to succeed. They will then earn relationship capital cred themselves first, allowing them to trust you on their trip as a partner of good intent.
Earning relationship capital or “RC Cred” is becoming a more tangible asset for sustaining success for a professional, entrepreneur, or large organization. Whether you are a startup business or a non-profit, capturing, measuring, and utilizing relationship capital may just be the most important metric in our hyperconnected, transparent, and morally interdependent world.
Introducing the PE-ER Platform
PE-ER, Performing Excellence-Engaging Recognition (also known as PeerSaaS) is an on-demand platform for requesting and making commitments. It also leverages gamification techniques to recognize, reward, and appreciate peers. Building trust and by earning relationship capital is critical to achieving all the benefits of being a credible person and/or workgroup.
Whether you are a large enterprise, small business, or solopreneur, building credibility through a verified performance process with your teammates, customers, industry experts, and partners is the source of distinction and competitive advantage. Peer-to-Peer Reciprocity and word of mouth are powerful forces for earning relationship capital and building credibility with your peers and B2B customers. Today, relationship capital can be captured, measured, and utilized for B2B success. PE-ER transforms the traditional tacit agreement of commitment and reciprocity between worker and organization and embeds it in a software-as-as-service platform. Building greater employee engagement and commitment are crucial to sustaining a competitive advantage. The PeerSaaS Game has its rewards for all participants including the company because credibility is your greatest asset especially in a hyperconnected, transparent, and morally interdependent world.