Perhaps a recent product launch plan was not positively received by management.

Or there was some skepticism about whether the measurements presented aligned with business goals.

Maybe there were some doubts expressed about the proposed use of budgets.

Or worse, a successful implementation was ridiculed for being fluff, and not contributing to outcomes.

Unfortunately, as communicators, we tend to hear ‘no’ – in all its various forms – very often.

What we work so hard for is useless without credibility.

It can be frustrating being on the other side of the fence of approval – especially when it’s required in some form or manner for progress.

We see this when we need approval to move to the next stage of the project, to bring a talent onboard, to involve other teams for their input, and to ask for more budget and resources.

What’s often unspoken in these situations, is that the other party – stakeholder, client, partner – finds our level of credibility lacking.

Understanding the dynamics of credibility and influence.

It is not personal.

It almost never ever is.

No stakeholder with influence is going to spend it on a personal vendetta.

Of course, an intelligent stakeholder can always hit multiple objectives within a single action.

To understand why some efforts seem to need a lever larger than the size of the planet, it is important to understand how credibility and influence play.

Credibility and influence are twins when it comes to shaping perceptions and driving outcomes.

Credibility is simply the bedrock of trust, and is woven from transparency, authenticity, and consistency. It is not about holding expertise in any given discipline or field. It is about being reliable. It is about being a compass for decision-makers and stakeholders in a churning ocean where every decision seems plausible.

Stakeholders, whether clients, customers, or partners, seek authenticity in interactions, and it’s the communicators who exhibit unwavering credibility that forge the deepest connections.

Influence amplifies this credibility, wielding the power to sway opinions and chart a course of action. Influence can be a delicate dance of persuasion and empathy, tailored to resonate with each stakeholder.


Reap the benefits of wielding credibility and influence within your organisation to drive outcomes.

In the pursuit of remarkable results, these twins must work together.

The resonance and relevancy of any message is amplified when delivered by a communicator with credibility. Influence is the enabler that can engage emotions and ask for prompt action.

Just as a conductor balances instruments to create harmony, communicators can use credibility and influence to orchestrate their approach, blending these dynamics to compose an impactful symphony that resonates with stakeholders, and direct them towards desired outcomes.

Credibility, meticulously nurtured through consistent actions, cultivates an environment of trust and respect. In an organisation, credibility supports the creation of a foundation of mutual reliance, paving the way for seamless collaboration and open communication.

Influence is the lever that empowers ideas to gain traction and initiatives to gain momentum. The power to influence extends beyond authority and titles—it is the result of persuading through conviction and guiding through expertise.

When leaders and communicators wield their influence, they become navigators steering the course of transformation. By aligning stakeholders around a common vision and igniting their collective passion, influence sparks the flames of progress.

Credibility and influence can be used for business-as-usual activities, ranging from launches, to announcements; but also for larger, longer-term programmes that showcase how communications can help organisations drive results with audiences.

Sidebar: They key is to engineer trust.  

At the heart of seeking to harness and wield credibility and influence lies the key element of trust.

Trust is the foundation upon which relationships are built, decisions are made, and progress is achieved. Credibility and influence are key tools used to engineer trust.

Credibility, the cornerstone, is painstakingly built through consistent actions, transparent communication, and demonstrated expertise. When communicators consistently deliver promises, they earn the currency of credibility, establishing themselves as dependable partners in the intricate dance of collaboration. This credibility creates trust, fostering an environment where stakeholders and teams have confidence in one another’s intentions and abilities.

Influence complements credibility by channeling its power towards desired outcomes. Communicators with the ability to wield influence navigate conversations and negotiations with finesse, shaping perceptions and swaying opinions.

Through compelling narratives and a deep understanding of stakeholder motivations, influence creates bridges where trust can flourish.

When communicators leverage their influence with integrity, they cultivate an atmosphere where openness and collaboration are encouraged and expected. This orchestration of credibility and influence forms a virtuous cycle—credibility begets trust, and trust empowers influence, a harmonious dance that elevates collaboration to new heights.


Here are 3 key areas to work on when seeking to build credibility with stakeholders.  

The key to building trust, and wielding influence lies with creating credibility first.

To do so, a communicator’s actions should focus on 3 key areas: consistency of action, transparency in communication and repeated demonstrations of expertise.

Consistency of action: Communicators should focus on maintaining reliable and predictable behavior over time.

Transparency in communication: Transparency builds trust by removing the shroud of uncertainty and ambiguity. Open and clear communication establishes a sense of honesty and credibility.

Repeated demonstrations of expertise: Expertise showcases a communicator’s proficiency and positions them as a reliable source of knowledge. Demonstrating expertise consistently helps establish credibility.

By focusing on these three key areas and taking specific actions within each area, communicators can effectively lay the foundation of credibility. As credibility grows, it sets the stage for the development of influence, allowing communicators to wield their impact with authenticity and integrity.

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