In week six of the Purposeful Living Program, our life coach, Bianca van Wyk teaches us how to build relationships and self trust through the core areas of credibility.
This week’s video on self trust focuses on the core elements of credibility that you need to build. With Bianca’s help, we will explore credibility, intent, capabilities and results.
The 4 Core Principles of Credibility
Credibility manifests in four areas, starting with your character – these are your roots, while competence is made up of the tree’s branches and leaves
“[Integrity] is all about being congruent,” Bianca says. “It’s not just about being compliant with the rules. It’s much more than that.”
Congruence comes down to who your are (your deepest values). This has to do with with whether you stand by your core values or adjust your values according to different sets of circumstances. Humility is about how you stand by your values in the face of disagreement and whether you’re focus on “doing what’s right, rather than being right,” as Bianca puts it. And it’s not always easy to stand by your principles. That requires courage, because in the face of opposition, you should have the integrity to stand by your principles, no matter what the outcome may be. Bianca also says that you also need to be wary of being one person at work, with one set of values, and another at home, with interchangeable values.
Increase your integrity
“How do we [increase our integrity]?”, asks Bianca. “And this is very important; we make and keep commitments to ourselves.”
So if you’ve decided to go on a diet, exercise more or focus on your career… whatever it may be that you’ve committed to, you can’t break those commitments. And you need to show the same level of respect to your commitments to yourself as you would in your commitments to other people. Do not take on new commitments when you have too much on your plate and you know you can’t keep that commitment either. Are you doing it because you truly want to commit to it? Or are you just doing it to make someone feel better? You end up going back on the promises you made. To remedy this you have two options: changing behaviour or lowering your commitment. So either you make changes that allow you to meet that goal. Or you split your commitment up into parts that make it more management, or even lower the expectations for what you’re going to do. Let people know in advance that you are struggling to get things done, and rather commit to something that’s more realistic.
And, another strategy for improving your integrity, have certain values and principles.
“You need to stand for something,” Bianca says. “And you should be unbending, regarding that specific commitment, or that principle, a value that you have.”
And you need to stand by it no matter what. Tell yourself “this is who I am”, and stand by it. Furthermore, you need to be open to criticism and be open to feedback. Listen to what other people have to say, and be willing to listen to other opinions, even if they’re not compatible with your own. That’s not to say you must be okay with someone causing harm to someone else or being callous. Don’t close yourself off. You shouldn’t obsess with a need to “win” or to be a hero.
When it comes to your intent, it’s all about your motive, your agenda and your behaviour,” Bianca says. “So your intent is about what you plan and what your purpose is. Why have you been placed on this earth; why are you doing what you do? Do you have that in front of you?”
People will always question each others’ motives. What gains people’s trust is genuine caring. It’s about whether you care about people, your values and the quality of the work you do. Your agenda has to do with what you’re looking to get out of the things you do; whether its for your own benefit or someone else’s. When your motives and your intentions are clear and everyone knows what it is, you’re less likely to be criticised and people will begin to trust you, if you live according to that agenda.
“The best agenda to gain people’s trust is one of mutual benefit,” according to Bianca.”If I enter this conversion or this relationship, if I take on this task, it’s to benefit your family or to benefit my colleagues. It’s not just for me.”
And your behaviour should reflect this, and you should be acting in a way that benefits everyone. “If your behaviour [focuses on] being able to be the hero, or to win, then I’ll look at you and know what your intent is, and that you don’t have my best interests at heart.
Don’t listen to people only for the purpose of responding. Actually listen to them, and let listening be your intention, rather than ‘winning’ an argument and showing them they’re wrong. People will not be open in this situation, because they know our behaviour and our intentions and will not trust us.
How do you improve on intent? Start by looking at your motives. Ask yourself whether, in your interactions with someone, you’re actually listening or if you’re merely trying to get your own way, explain yourself and if you’re only focused on being right. Or, what you can do is state your attentions and be upfront from the beginning. “Be transparent and say ‘this is what I intend to do’.”
You can also choose abundance and be okay with someone else getting a compliment or being right. “If someone wins at that stage, it’s perfectly fine, because there is enough to go around.
“If you are continuously choosing scarcity, you’re fighting for resources… if you can approach any interaction with a mentality of abundance, rather than scarcity, people will start trusting your intent.”
For capabilities, you need to ask what your unique talents and strengths are – we all have something. And also be cognizant of your weaknesses. And be honest with yourself to understand that your weakness will never become a strength and will be mediocre at best. ANd, in your approach, you need to approach it with a certain energy, with a particular attitude. It’s difficult to have positive energy when you’re tired and frustrated. Find something that fills you with positive energy. “that could be listening to your favourite music, lying in the bath or something from where you can get all that energy you need.”
If people see your passions exude from your behaviour, people pick up that, and if you find congruence, they’ll be more likely to trust you.
You also need to ask yourself when last you upgraded your skills and whether you’re doing it continuously – you should. Knowledge has to do with whether you’re keeping up with the latest news and trends in your area of expertise. And with such a large body of information at our disposal, we should be ensuring that we capitalise on this and improve our knowledge.
In terms of your style, you need to make sure it is making your path easier, rather than get in the way of achieving your goals.
Your purpose needs to be front and center, and you need to run with your strengths and your purpose. You also need to keep yourself relevant.
“Continuously read, or connect with people on LinkedIn, who are in the same positions, that have actually traveled your path and know where you’re going,” Bianca says. “Where you are today is not necessarily where you want to be tomorrow. So you should have something in front of you that says ‘this is where I want to go’, so that all your actions will be working towards that. It will also help with your time management and help you stop procrastinating.”
“Results are easy to see. It’s your track record,” Bianca adds. “If people know you’re always late for meetings, that becomes your track record. If I know you’re always two days late when you deliver a report, or it’s always full of mistakes, that becomes your track record. Credibility rests on results.”
Therefore, you need to define your results accurately and make sure that you know, as well as the people who you’ve promised to get results for, what the end result will be.
If people don’t know what the end result will be and you deliver something different to what they expected, their trust in you will diminish.
How to improve your results
To improve your results, you need to take responsibility for them and not just take responsibility for the tasks you carry out.
“What you have to realise is that, what’s important is not how much you do, but the results that you achieve in the end,” Bianca says.
Also learn to approach things by expecting to win, to succeed. “TYour attitude towards something is going to be a self-fulfilling prophecy,” says Biana. “Expecting to win totally changes the situation. If that’s going to be your approach, it’s going to have an effect on your results.”
Finishing strong is always important, as well. At the start of your journey, you will start with plenty of energy. Somewhere in the middle, things may start to slow down a bit, but, at the end, you have to really push yourself.
“Building credibility and self trust, where it all began, comes down to whether you can finish strong,” she adds.”You have to focus on finishing strong.”
Even if it ends in failure, you need to recognise that you have let others down and that you’ve let yourself down
For our “homework this week, Bianca has asked us to focus on our four core strengths and work on improving our weakest of the bunch. And to focus on continuation and consistency, Bianca explains the continue/stop/start inquiry to us. Answering these questions can also apply to a team setting or even your family. Asking these questions and getting feedback could make a big change in your pursuit of self ttrust and building credibility.
If you enjoyed reading this article, please come back to The Essential Millennial at the end of the week, for our personal accounts on our approach to self trust.
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