Merge's Blog

Tag Archives: improving credibility

Doing your job or doing your work?

jobAre you doing your job or are you doing your work?  Job and work.  Is there a difference? Absolutely.

A restaurant owner’s job is to produce great food.  But the best restaurants are the ones that also focus on giving their patrons an enjoyable dining experience.  That’s the owner’s work.

The front-desk receptionist’s primary responsibility may be to answer the phone pleasantly.  That’s his job.  But he also needs to think critically to solve problems, and adapt to shifting priorities.  That’s his work.

What about a doctor?  Sure, her job is to diagnose and cure diseases.  But the best doctors are the ones who ask questions, listen to the answers, and take the time to invest emotionally in their patients.  That’s her work.

Job versus work

The job is the hard skills, the expertise or the technical knowledge to get things done.  It’s what most of us study and train for.  But work incorporates the soft skills.  Continue reading

Set a date (and keep it) to build your credibility

Seth Godin said something on his blog the other day that struck a chord with me.


If you haven’t announced a date, you’re not serious.

Pick a date. It can be far in the future. Too far, and we’ll all know that you’re merely stalling. A real date, a date we can live with and a date you can deliver on.

If your project can’t pass this incredibly simple test, it’s not a project.

Deliver whatever it is you say you’re working on on the date you said you would, regardless of what external factors interfere. Deliver it even if you don’t think it’s perfect. You picked the date.

And as a professional, the career-making habit is this: once you set a date, never miss a date.

Now Seth was talking primarily to entrepreneurs since that is his target market.  Continue reading

Your credibility is created by others

About six months ago, I was asked by a senior leader at a client company to help facilitate his regular leadership team meetings.  The leader was concerned because recent meetings had not gone well, and he was troubled by his managers’ reluctance to speak up and offer insights on the different subjects under discussion.  I agreed to help, and suggested that for the next meeting, I simply attend as an observer.  Being an onlooker would give me an opportunity to watch team interactions and dynamics, and I hoped that it would give me some additional perspectives on what was going (and not going) well in the group.  I observed one particular behaviour that I wanted to share in today’s blog post.

There was one manager on the team who had only been in the organization for just under a year, and who repeatedly used phrases such as:

“I have a lot more experience about this kind of scenario than you do.”

“This is my area of expertise so …”

“That’s why I studied this subject for over six years.”

All these and similar sentiments were verbalized with one singular objective – to let his colleagues know that because of his expertise, they were obliged to defer to his opinion and agree with his recommendations.

There was only one problem – Continue reading

Speaking decisively and confidently improves your credibility?

car-accidentIn a classic 1978 social psychology experiment, researcher Bonnie Erickson and her colleagues had potential jurors listen to a witness give testimony about an auto accident.  Some jurors heard the witness respond in a “powerful” forthright and direct style.  Others listened to the witness provide exactly the same information, but hesitate and hedge in a “powerless” style, using frequent intensifiers, hesitation forms and questioning intonations.  Turned out that what the witnesses said was actually less important than how they said it; the confident straightforward witnesses were rated as significantly more credible and competent than the unsure indirect ones.

Huh, so people are perceived as more credible when they make eye contact and speak with confidence, no matter what they have to say?  That’s a surprise, isn’t it? 😀  But is there a lesson in there for all of us?

When you speak decisively and confidently, you are perceived to be more expert, intelligent and knowledgeable.  Is this information worth considering if you have a difficult message to convey to others?  Or is it too close to “faking” it?  What do you think?

Communicating with confidence and clarity

Communicating with ConfidenceThe great folks at PDNet and CGA Canada have invited me to deliver a live webinar “Communicating with Confidence and Clarity” on Tuesday September 14, 2010 at 9 AM Pacific Standard Time.   If you’ve never attended a live webcast before, it’s a great way to get focused relevant learning right at your desk.  Using just your desktop or laptop computer, you’ll be able to view and hear the webcast.  Plus, a recorded version of the webcast will be available to all participants for one year.  Priced at just $169 ($139 if you’re a CGA member), it’s a steal!  REGISTRATION CLOSES 24 HOURS BEFORE THE EVENT STARTS. SO DON’T DELAY! To register, or get more information, go to

Continue reading

Communicating with Confidence – Live audio event on February 10

When you are suddenly faced with a situation in which you need to speak to a group or make a presentation, do you wonder whether you are projecting the professionalism and expertise you know you possess? Do you wrestle with getting others to buy-in to your ideas and strategies? What about getting people to act on the commitments they make? If you’ve ever struggled with any of these issues, then battle no more! It IS possible to deliver your message with control and composure. It IS possible to think on your feet and craft a message on the fly. It IS possible to speak directly, yet respectfully, and hold others accountable to their word. It IS possible, and I can help! On February 10, I’ll be leading an audio conference that will give you the skills to communicate with confidence, clarity and credibility.   I hope you’ll join me.

Click here to register

In one power-packed hour, right from the comfort of your office, I’ll give you specific, practical, and useful tools to communicate with confidence, clarity and credibility. You’ll learn:

  • How assertive communication is your key to establishing credibility and projecting confidence
  • One guaranteed method to improve your communication
  • Specific techniques to ensure that your message is taken seriously
  • Seven ways to use body language to reinforce your message
  • Six “magic” words and phrases that will advance dignity, respect and influence in all your interactions
  • Five specific things that you can do to make a good first impression
  • How to overcome your nervousness in meetings and in front of groups

Join me on February 10, 2010 at 11 AM MST. Early bird pricing in effect ONLY until this Wednesday February 3!

Click here to register, or for more information.