The Communicator’s Balance

The purpose of communication is to engage your audience, and engagement hangs on a delicate balance between credibility and relatability. Influencers need to understand that balance and work to be both credible and relatable.
This is why it’s important:
•If your audience doesn’t see you as credible, they won’t care.
•If your audience doesn’t see you as relatable, they won’t respond.
I know I’ve missed the mark on this balance many times. As a young entrepreneur I sat in front of many people who seemed to like me and enjoyed having me around but they would never follow my vision or buy my products. I had to face reality that I wasn’t very credible in their eyes and so my vision didn’t carry any weight.
The interesting thing was once I overcame that and started to have success I had the opposite reaction. I had several people who would listen to my presentation and say, “no wonder you are successful,” or “I know you are going to do great things, I just can’t see myself doing it.”
I had become credible and lost relatability.
It’s really a balance. You need to be relatable so that you connect, but at the same time be credible so that your message carries clout.
Credibility is something you build through who you are, what you know, what you do, and how you communicate. Investing in your character, increasing your competence, and improving your communication will build credibility in your audiences’ eyes. Credibility is something you have to earn by becoming someone worth listening to.
Relatability comes by being real and approachable. Learning to speak in a conversational tone and not a condescending tone will raise your relatability. No one wants you to talk to them, they want you to talk with them. The word communication comes from the Latin word Communicare which means common. A great communicator establishes common ground with his audience so that he or she becomes relatable and a connection is made. Remember the goal of communication is not perfection, but rather connection.


2 Responses

  1. Great points. Credibility can be a fleeting concept these days considering the speed of technology and surface credibility that can be easily achieved or given with social media culture. However, the points you make are nevertheless “foundational” in meaningful relationships of all sorts. I once worked as a youth counselor and met a young man who I was to conduct an initial assessment on. He was dressed head to toe in Goth attire. Through the concepts you mention about communication and relatability, I was able to develop that connection that led to a successful 90 minute session. Small tidbit but powerful concept that works on all levels.

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