Step Three: Know Others
Mindfully building personal credibility requires looking outside of yourself and paying attention to others. If you pay attention, you can learn about the tension levels of the people you need to interact with in order to be successful. You can observe how they respond to your messages and what you can do to make their interaction with you more comfortable (Merrill and Reid, 1981).
If relationships are important for the success of your project, invest some time in observing your stakeholders to determine their social style. Pay attention to how their social style influences others in the environment. Use what you have learned in this chapter to minimize tensions when engaging with these key stakeholders, making them feel comfortable concerning their interactions with you and increasing your personal credibility.
This leads us to step four of the Four Steps to Mindful Credibility.
Step Four: Do Something for Others
After you have made the effort to know others, you are prepared to mindfully do something to accommodate their preferences (Merrill and Reid, 1981). For example, give Analytical types time and space to organize and prepare their thoughts concerning issues and solutions. Be a sounding board for Expressive types, allowing them to talk through issues to resolve problems. Change your attire so that you present an image that makes the person you are engaging with feel comfortable about engaging with you.
All of this may take significant effort on your part and may require you to sacrifice your comfort zone. You have to develop a tolerance for frustration. Only you can decide if this investment is worth it, if the relationship is important enough for the effort, and if the benefit outweighs the cost.
The more we practice this process, the more mindful versatility becomes a habit. We learn to adjust our behavior almost unconsciously to make others more comfortable (Merrill and Reid, 1981). To achieve this level, we have to be persistent, making the effort to gain experience and competence at being tolerant and accepting, steadily building our person credibility.