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Developing Leaders for a Networked World

Credibility as the Foundation for Effective Communication

Credibility is at the very heart of effective communications. That’s why this textbook opens with a full chapter on credibility. Then, each chapter in the textbook reminds students about how credibility impacts the ability to communicate effectively – in conversations, in presentations, and in written form.

Ch_1_CredibilityThe opening chapter helps business students understand the three interrelated components of credibility: competence, caring, and character. In short, competence focuses on the ability to get the job done. Many people judge competence based on a track record of results. Caring focuses on understanding the needs of others and showing responsiveness to those needs. Character focuses on living by high standards and values. One of the primary ways people in the workplace judge character is whether people follow through on commitments or align actions with words.

Starting a business communication course with a focus on credibility has many benefits:

  • It places all communications in the context of trust.
  • It provides a platform to talk about the importance of relationships.
  • It gains buy-in from students, who want to gain professional and personal credibility.
  • It starts the book with the big picture and helps students see communications more holistically.
  • It positions students to succeed in a networked world, where the importance of trust is more important than ever.

Many business students enter business communication courses assuming that the course is about what and how they say and write business messages. In other words, they assume a technical or style-oriented approach to communications. Of course, the what and how of business communications are important. But, who business students are is an even bigger factor in communicating effectively. That’s where credibility comes in. This approaches motivates students. Better yet, it best positions them for success and satisfaction in their careers.

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