How to Build Credibility as a Manager

Whether you’re a new manager or have years of experience, these 16 behaviors to help you grow in the job.

Building credibility is much like your fitness program—focus on the right activities at the right time and with the right frequency, and you grow stronger, faster, and more resilient.

Here are 16 behaviors to help build credibility as a manager:

  1. Respect is never optional. Dispense it in every encounter.
  2. Operate with a strong foundation that includes a clear role definition and even clearer leadership values.
  3. Show your coworkers you care about them as individuals.
  4. Dispense all glory to them.
  5. Listen more than you talk.
  6. When you talk, provide context for the work.
  7. When you talk, say what you mean and mean what you say.
  8. Most talk should be in the form of questions, not orders.
  9. Vow to never micro-manage.
  10. See the prior point—commitment is commitment.
  11. Set clear expectations and constantly reinforce accountability.
  12. See the prior point—accountability starts with you.
  13. Provide timely feedback on performance and behavior.
  14. Use feed-forward to coach for the future.
  15. See the point on respect. Supporting a person’s professional development is a high form of showing your respect.
  16. When you make a mistake, first admit it and then fix it.

The bottom line: There’s no such thing as too much credibility. Keep working at it.

Art Petty is a coach and consultant working with executives and management teams to unlock business and human potential. He writes the Leadership Caffeine blog.