So Smart But…: How Intelligent People Lose Credibility – And How They Can Get It Back by Allen K. Weiner

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Summary

Credibility, the quality or power to inspire trust and belief, is essential and strategic to career evolution. It is also difficult to acquire, keep up but easier to lose.

Allen N. Weiner, in So Smart But…, provides tips on how to preserve and enhance your credibility in the workplace. Each tip is illustrated by realistic workplace scenarios.

credibility2

According to Allen N. Weiner, credibility is 45% how you look, 45%  how you sound and 10% what you say.

 

In agreement with McCroskey, scholar in West Virginia University, there are five factors of credibility:

  1. Competence. This quality is acquired when an employee has succeeded to:
    • Champion the company’s vision
    • Engage in innovation
    • Focus on performance and results
    • Build a high performance organization
    • Explain concept with the appropriate message
    • Calibrate a message to a specific listener.

credibilitylostCredibility is easily lost if someone:

  • is not understanding or is reacting inappropriately to an issue at hand
  • is lacking better judgement in order to make the right decisions
  • reflects too long before making a decision.
  1. Character. This quality is acquired when an employee has succeeded to:
    • Foster a climate of innovation
    • Foster and model the company’s values.

credibilitylostCredibility is easily lost if someone:

  • is lacking passion and drive for their work
  • is arrogant. This character flaw can be corrected by changing your words when addressing your colleagues, expressing interest in them, asking for advice, listening more in conversations and sharing your personal weaknesses
  • cannot manage emotions very well
  • has it out for some people in their organization.
  1. Composure. This quality is acquired when an employee has succeeded to:
    • Manage workforce performance
    • Delegate appropriately.

credibilitylostCredibility is easily lost if someone:

  • is not timely (not punctual with deliveries, appears frantic and rushing,…)
  • cannot manage emotions very well
  • maneuver their body language to manifest their belonging
  • decorate and manage their personal space
  • does not look the part by not applying the company’s dress code, by not grooming oneself when coming to work or even by not working out.
  1. Sociability. This quality is acquired when an employee has succeeded to demonstrate interpersonal skills.
  2. Extroversion as defined in the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). This quality is acquired when an employee has succeeded to passionately drive the company’s strategy.

Review

This self-development book is very relatable, accurate and was very difficult to read since I have met up with most of the scenarios and possess some of the corporate personality flaws discussed in this book.

Furthermore, every argument is properly illustrated with realistic scenario and is not gender biased.

According to Allen N. Weiner, to climb the social ladder, it seems that one needs to :

  • comply to too many non written rules, indicative of a rigid and intolerant society that is the corporate world. Is it possible to apply every single one of these rules  to the cost of spreading oneself very thinly?
  • be likeable to succeed when, in my opinion, likeability can only take you so far. Indeed, in my experience, it is preferable and more effective to be respected in corporate culture because being liked puts you on equal footing with your pairs, constitutes additional emotional work and subjects you to fluctuating and random external opinion. Nevertheless, according to Allen N. Weiner, people who are not liked are trying to find excuses instead of trying to be liked.
  • adapt, be accepted by your pairs or fitting in. Fitting in is very hard to do but not impossible to do. Check out the article Signs that You are a good fit for your new job..

Ratings 4/5

About the author

Allen N. Weiner

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19 thoughts on “So Smart But…: How Intelligent People Lose Credibility – And How They Can Get It Back by Allen K. Weiner

  1. This is some really good information! You work so hard on credibility and one bad day can undo all you’re hard work. We should always be mindful. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I believe that to be successful we must analyze the company culture and find ways to adapt to that within our personality traits. “Being yourself” is different in different settinng, work being one of them. Great article!