One of the most important qualities an assistant can develop is credibility. It can take a bucket full of thoughtful actions to establish and yet can be seriously undermined by a single thoughtless move that creates a slow leak.
To achieve credibility in the workplace, you must be responsible, a person who can be counted on to create quality work and keep promises. It’s not something you can do overnight or the first day on a new job. It’s not an app you can download. Credibility is built over time by demonstrating integrity, high ethical standards and by doing the right things.
Consider these six ways to build your credibility and keep your bucket filled:
1. Be yourself. To be credible you don’t have to appear perfect. Concentrate and play on your strengths. Always put your best foot forward, but with every step, be honest, human and do not present a plastic image to try to impress others. That plastic image will melt.
2. Listen carefully. This may seem logical and too easy, however one of the surest ways to lose credibility is to botch a job due to carelessness. Make sure you understand exactly what is expected of you and when it is due. Verify and clarify.
3. Be knowledgeable. At the heart of credibility is being a professional and knowing what you are doing. We might think we can fake it, but in the long run that tactic will fail. Know what you don’t know and be willing to find the resources to knowledge-up.
4. Practice critical thinking. You will gain credibility by having the reputation of someone who doesn’t throw up their hands at the sight of difficulty. Cultivate the attitude that you can think it through and take time to look at all the angles. Be a problem solver and you will develop the image of a doer; a credible and reliable assistant.
5. Keep an open mind. Narrowmindedness will quickly cause you to lose the respect of other people. Open your mind to new opportunities, new ways of doing things, and appreciating the talents, and even weaknesses, of others. This will make you more flexible and adaptable.
6. Cultivate self-awareness. Set goals and have a sense of purpose in learning about areas you need to refine and improve. This conveys to people that you are someone who is going somewhere and not to be ignored because your project self-confidence with a twist of humility. That’s a winning combination.