Credibility Is Not Symmetrical

If someone tells the truth 100% of the time, they probably enjoy high credibility. If someone else lies 100% of the time they have 100% credibility too, but of a different kind.

The problem is with people who are not at the 100% level on either end of the scale.

Assessing credibility

The ability to assess credibility is a very valuable skill. The reason is that someone who lies 2% of the time does not have 98% credibility. Probably not 0% but much less than 98. You can address this from two positions.

  1. You are the person who is conveying information. You want to have credibility, maybe need it. Is your message truthful? Yes, would be step one. Step two involves deciding how to transfer it. In most cases, the person receiving the information knows less than you and you must deliver to their place not expect them to come to yours. Once delivered, you then must discover if the other person understands it the same way you do. If they don’t they will sooner or later decide you were lying. Confirm the important parts of your presentation. That is step three. New information doesn’t hang around long. Studies show that half of it is lost within an hour. and 70% within a day. It is usually a good idea to send a summary to help them recall the important parts. My experience is leaving it with them accomplishes little. They just file it and forget.l
  2. You are the recipient of the information. Then you can use several metrics to sort it out. Previous experience with the person. Do their actions mirror their words? Your familiarity with the material. Ask questions. Look for clear answers and easily understood follow-up. Get a summary. When you get it ask some more questions. People who understand what they transmit and understand you and your needs can do this easily enough. Be cautious with those who seem to be running a recording in their head and just repeating the ideas they have memorized.

The takeaway

  1. Good communication is simple and connects to real problems or questions. Be sure you prepare when presenting to others, and are prepared when others present to you.
  2. Credibility is earned.

“Lose money for the firm and I will be understanding. Lose a shred of reputation for the firm, and I will be ruthless.” Warren Buffett


I help business owners and professionals understand and manage risk and other financial issues. To help them achieve their goals, I use tax efficiencies and design advantages to acquire more efficient income and larger, more liquid estates.

Please be in touch if I can help you. don@moneyfyi.com 705-927-4770

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