For some reason men of faith the nation wide spend time praying for their coworkers and trying to sneak clever phrases about their faith into conversations and make stands on not drinking or doing drugs. Some will be clear about their lack of sexual promiscuity (even though it is not really a professional conversation for the workplace anyway) and all kinds of other things that make them more moral then the next guy. They spend all this time worried about their “testimony” to see it consistently fall without any influence or open any doors for further conversation. One of the man reasons for this is that they have no credibility in their workplace.
Why does Credibility matter? Because it lends weight to what you say and how you act. If you are a lousy employee and your proficiency is lacking with a side of competence that is in short order you can count on something regarding your faith – when you open your mouth no one will listen.
There is nothing about you that stands out, nothing that makes others ask “What does he have that I don’t?” Instead, they are all saying, “He does not have what we clearly do.”
When you begin at a new job focus on your skill, your trade, your job. When you master that your credibility goes through the roof and when you have an opinion people open their ears, they listen to it. Whether or not they heed your perspective is not the issue, they hear it and consider your thoughts.
Now turn that conversation toward the arena of faith. You have built credibility in your trade and in your areas of responsibility. Someone in your workplace has some hard stuff going on in their life and shares it with you. You share the place of your hope, how even when your terrified you have joy and seek Jesus. NOW – they heard you! It does not mean that they all give their life to Jesus (thought they may) it just means that you have lived in such a way that their is something different about you, and that thing that is different is something desirable.
A simple misconception.
Many times people think that having credibility is the same things as always being right. This is not true. It simply means that your words have weight. If you are wrong admit it. if you are being firm then hold your line. When lousy something let it mean what you say. Lets look at what happens when you make a mistake on something. You have two options:
Option 1: They discover it and come to you. If this is the case then your words lose their weight. You begin to lose credibility. As an employer I begin to think in this scenario that I have to pay attention to what your doing, how you do it, and what else you might be missing along the way. I am second guessing whether you will come to me with an issue or if I have to go digging to discover it. My biggest fear is that something will surface at the least opportune time that should have been brought to my attention when if first happened.
Option 2: Take it to them in full detail. If you take this approach, you may fear that you are going to get fired, disciplined or the like. This may be the case depending on the scenario but you can not be worried about that. When you take it to your boss and explain the situation, even if it is completely your fault, then you have given them control of information, time and response. You give them information because they now have all the details of what is wrong and to what extent. They have control of time because they are not blindsided when it blows up so they can build a strategy to repair what happened. Lastly, they get the ability to respond before someone else reacts to it. You give them the gift of not being blindsided. As a boss, this is a great gift. As for the firing, employers take this into consideration.
When it comes to making mistakes you have the opportunity to build credibility or ruin it by what you do immediately following the mistake. Act wisely and swiftly.
As for the faith conversation.
Build credibility first and then when you open your mouth people will listen to what you have to say, regardless of the issue, because your words have weight.