The Credibility Gap

intergrityAlways do right–this will gratify some and astonish the rest. Mark Twain

Are you a credible person? Do you run a credible business? When people are given the opportunity are they eager to recommend you as a person and as a professional? Just how good is your word? Do these questions make you feel comfortable or are you cringing at some painful missteps you’ve made in the past? Mistakes you really should have taken care of, but didn’t by either casual neglect or willful choice.

According to, a credible person is defined as an expert, “experienced, qualified, intelligent, skilled.” However, one may be adept in one area while lacking in another. “Credibility is also context-dependent.” Does this mean a person’s skill level (in any particular area) determines his character (and reputation)? Yes, no, and sometimes.

We all know folks who are expertly skilled in business but routinely struggle through awkward social situations. Others find it a simple task to meet and greet family, friends, and strangers alike…but deeply battle consistency in school or at the workplace. Depending upon the situation, a person’s credibility will either shine brilliantly or flicker to a dim, almost nonexistent flame.

So what’s so the key to living a life of credibility from every perspective? Attitude plus action. Teachability plus humility. A willingness to admit error and make restitution.

In today’s world there seems to be no end to grumbling about rampant disingenuousness. Whether the fudging comes to light in the business sector, on the golf course, amongst friends, or in the church, people resent its presence and instead long for simple truth.

Certainly, they might chafe at the initial sting of it…but individuals are surrounded by posers and instinctively hunger for a genuineness they can trust. We all desire that safety net of believing we can depend on another to come through for us be the need little or large.

Let’s be honest here. We’ve all blown it. Probably every day, perhaps even hourly. So do we give up with despair and regret? Hand wringing and paralyzed? Never! The great thing about credibility is that tomorrow is always a new day to start again.

If you’ve wronged someone, make it right. Choose to overcome another’s wavering opinion of you by setting a different course. Certainly, it will be difficult to back pedal, but in order to move ahead, going back is sometimes the only way to make progress.

Writes Orlando A. Battista, “An error doesn’t become a mistake until you refuse to correct it.”

Good words, timely advice and credible counsel for all.


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