This post is part of our Weekly Tips series.

The Trust Equation is a deconstructive, analytical model of trustworthiness. It includes four variables: credibility, reliability, intimacy, and self-orientation.

Credibility has to do with the words you speak. Someone might say, “I can trust what she says about intellectual property.”

Credibility is derived not only from your credentials, but also from your honesty and your presence (how you communicate).

A relatively obvious way to boost your credibility is to learn more about industry trends. A more unexpected way to increase your credibility is being willing to say “I don’t know” when that’s the truthful response.

Are you as willing to say something that might make you look bad as you are to show off your subject matter?

Bonus: Making it Real

This week, choose one aspect of your credibility to boost and one practice to boost it.

For example, you might

  • Write one short blog that shares your lessons learned with others (whether you publish it or not matters less; just write it).
  • Do 10% more preparation than you normally would for every meeting.
  • Share your passion, not just your expertise, in this week’s presentations.
  • Keep a daily journal of your observations of others who have “presence,” what they do to convey that, and how you might adopt some of their habits.

Pick something from this list, or create your own credibility practice.

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Andrea Howe

As the founder of The Get Real Project, I am the steward of our vision and our service offerings, as well as a workshop leader and keynote speaker. Above all else, I am an entrepreneur on a mission: to kick conventional business wisdom to the curb and transform how people work together as a result. I am also the co-author, with Charles H. Green, of The Trusted Advisor Fieldbook (Wiley, 2012).