While the concept of managerial credibility is widespread, there is still no consensus on what it means and how to measure it (Williams et al., 2022). Often associated with trust, managerial credibility is a challenge for many managers looking to attract talent and—more importantly—retain it.
Many of the managers who come to us for assessments are concerned about their credibility and want to develop it. The transition to management, the shift to a new role within a team, and the variable maturity of teams all pose their own challenges to building trust and managing change effectively.
Trust is like a savings account that constantly needs to be replenished—to make it grow, you need to be consistent and dedicated. Nowadays, that means that managers must have opportunities to develop the skills they need to convey credibility and drive positive change.
Skills needed to increase your “trust capital”:
Self-management is the foundation of your credibility, so it’s important to prioritize it. Take a long hard look at your ability to manage stress and emotions, your willingness to show a genuine interest in the motivations and interests of your employees, your flexibility, and even your ability to adapt. Mastering self-management is a great show of stability and guarantees a continuous flow of communication with your colleagues. A leader who can maintain their composure, while still being sensitive to their environment, inspires confidence.
Decision-making ability and courage to act:
Delicate conversations are an integral part of management challenges. Asserting their right to manage, risking dissatisfying their staff, or fearing their reaction may affect a manager’s ability to intervene despite the risks involved. Having courage means acting quickly and authentically for the good of the organization, taking responsibility for the consequences of the organization’s actions, and taking the development and well-being of employees to heart.
Respect for commitments:
While saying what you will do, following through, and keeping your promises may seem easy, they are particularly challenging for new managers, as they must transition from a vision of success that’s based on their personal productivity to one that’s based on their ability to help their staff work efficiently and without too much difficulty. Focusing on quality rather than quantity can be an effective way to work on one’s ability to clearly communicate commitments and deliver on them.
Being a manager means making a lot of decisions, sometimes without having all the information. So how do you make sure they’re good? Good decisions come from making a thorough analysis of the circumstances, understanding the organization’s context and objectives, and finally, evaluating the possible outcomes. Taking a step back to reflect can be difficult for many managers, who are afraid to seem passive. Consulting others and relying on their expertise is an expression of humility and diligence, not an attempt at validation.
Organizations must constantly handle an enormous flow of information. Managers who receive information from the top down must sort through it so they can pass on what is relevant to their teams. Sharing information also allows staff to build a professional network, create synergy, discover opportunities within the organization, and feel heard and respected. A good flow of information means conveying important information appropriately and having an impact on employees’ sense of belonging, recognition, and commitment. A good flow of information also reduces grey areas, increases efficiency, and makes work more meaningful.
Organizations often ask us to support their employees to ensure their successful transition and development. Our support through potential assessments makes it possible to clearly and objectively identify the skills they master and those that still need work. The 360 Assessment is another great way to get direct feedback based on the specific work context: it provides a wealth of information on how much trust is placed in a manager. Post-assessment support is an agile way to implement changes. We want to help managers grow, and above all, understand how to do so using the right development drivers.