I recently surveyed a FB group and asked the members, what things people are doing to lose credibility with you.  Their list was creative and very long and contained actions including RSVP’ing and fail to show up, failing to be kind, and acting snobby.  I agree all these things can cause people to lose credibility, but they don’t hit my top five, this week.

The following examples are things I have seen happen over the years or I did at one point in time before I change my behavior.  I encourage you to read the five points below and ask yourself the hard questions about how often you are doing these things and how can you be a better leader now you are aware these actions can hurt you more than help you.

The five ways credibility can be lost

  1. Gossip – Chatting about others used to be an acceptable practice in some cultures, but today gossip can hurt relationships faster and more deeply than almost any other faux pas. It also erodes trust with others and your reputation. Leaders avoid gossip and quiet it. They control their emotions to increase their effectiveness in situations and they will focus on forward-thinking. When they focus on the drama of the past rather than learning from it and moving forward they will lose credibility as a leader.  Choose to be involved in building legacies versus tearing them down.


  1. Story Top- I heard this term for someone years ago and it has stuck with me. It is the act of telling your story which likely is bigger, better, more dramatic, etc than the story someone else just told. Good leaders let other people shine and have their moments. They don’t steal their spotlight even if they have a better story to tell. Choose to hold on to your tales and instead make supporting comments when others share especially if they are vulnerable or share a great success.


  1. Rain on Their Parade- This deflating of other people happens all the time with little comments, such as that’s nothing to be this excited about; non-verbal communication namely, a sigh or a roll of the eyes; or just showing up with a bad attitude. Check yourself at the door. If you can’t show up like a leader, it might be better to not shop up at all. A couple of quick tricks to entering a room in the correct mindset is to do a quick meditation or some deep breathing.


  1. Venting- sharing your frustration in a non-constructive manner in person or on social media can hurt your personal brand and your reputation. People want to do business with other people, but they need to feel safe, they expect consistency, and they don’t want to be the subject of your next rant. I have seen quite a few viral videos in 2018 showing people flying-off-the-handle. There are much better ways to get publicity.  Find ways to handle your emotions, for example, journaling or finding things to be grateful for in your life.


  1. Fail to Follow Through- This is a specific example of overpromising and under delivering. It is easy to say, “I will send you an email when I get back to the office or I will call you back later and then forget all about it.” Reliable leaders will find ways to make the follow-up happen if they promise it will occur. Jot down a note, set-up an electronic reminder, add it to your tiny to-do list, keep a note in a specific pocket. Put something into place to ensure you fulfill your promise.


If you think about these five credibility’s diminishing actions, you will be able to identify many times when these instances happened to you. Your relationship with the person doing these things likely changed due to these specific actions, at least temporarily.

Awareness is the first step to be an exceptional leader and you now know how to handle these five circumstances to retain your reputation and relationships.


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I am a best-selling author, a keynote speaker, award-winning coach and the founder of The Academy of Entrepreneurial Excellence. I coach leadership high-performance habits to health and fitness professionals that get results for you and your clients.