As women, we often work very hard to earn credibility, and once earned, it takes skill, confidence and a demonstration of integrity to maintain it. But as long as it takes to earn credibility, sometimes it may only take a moment to lose it. Women encounter many barriers as they move up the chain to success, but we don’t need loss of credibility to be one of those factors.
Here are the Top 5 Ways to Lose Credibility

1. Say Yes then take back your Yes

As people pleasers by nature, women often tend to say “yes” more than “no.” But if we say yes to taking on a task and then back out we can quickly ruin our credibility. Likewise, if we say yes to taking on a task and then half-ass the task, people’s perceptions of our ability and performance levels change and we lose credibility.

The Fix
Evaluate and then react. First, create a list of your goals and the strategy you need to put in place in order to accomplish these goals. When asked to take on a role or task, take time to process the request and see if it is in line with your direction. Assess in which ways taking on this task could help you or hurt you. Do the benefits of taking on this task outweigh saying no, or is it more beneficial for you to say no and focus on what is already on your plate? From here, then respond with a yes or no.

2. Never be Wrong
We all make mistakes, even credible people, but it is in the way that you handle yourself when you make a mistake that plays a role in credibility. When you place blame on others or find excuses for a situation, you lose credibility and respect from those around you.

The Fix
Own up to your mistakes and immediately follow it with a plan and solution to fix the issue(s). Apologize if needed and be genuine in your apology. Take mindful steps moving forward to not repeat the mistake.

3. Keep your Accomplishments a Secret
Just because people see you as a credible source doesn’t mean you stop sharing your successes. By keeping all your hard word quiet, you risk losing credibility more so because of the whole “out of sight out of mind” concept. And, don’t think you are bragging by sharing your accomplishments, sharing your hard work is what will help you advance and continue to enhance your credibility.

The Fix
While you don’t have to race around the office shouting, “Congrats to me, I just answered a phone call and sent off an email” you should share with co-workers and managers goals obtained, major barriers hurdled, and progress or milestones completed within projects. Highlighting your successes in a humble and genuine manner will keep people abreast of your motivation, determination and passion for the company or task at hand.

4. Take your Time with People’s Concerns
True or false? Now that you have earned your credibility, people don’t have to be as much of a priority as they once were. False! One way to lose credibility is to dismiss people or consistently put people’s needs on the back burner. By dismissing people, not taking care for their concerns, or making people feel like they are not important or needed is a sure fire way to burn bridges and lose credibility.

The Fix
Be empathetic and understanding at times. Show people that they matter to you whether you are moving up the chain or not. While I encourage you to retreat and take time to process people’s requests before reacting, you can still communicate with people by giving them time frames of when they can expect to hear from you and by acknowledging their requests to some degree. What may not be of concern to you, may be of significant importance to another.

5. Don’t Practice what you Preach

Once you become a credible source, in order to maintain that credibility, you must do what say. You can’t just tell other people to act or be a certain way and then hold yourself to a different standard. When you don’t practice what you preach you set you integrity and character on the line and when these two factors are compromised so is your credibility.

The Fix
Well, this is an easy answer, practice what you preach. If you want to keep your credibility, be sure that the tips and advice you share with the world, you heed that advice, too.