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For something that most of us have to do on a daily basis, navigating workplace communication can be tricky: There’s often a fine line between being assertive and aggressive, helpful and pushy, and arrogant and credible.

Ideally, you want to come across in a way that convinces your colleagues that you know what you’re talking about, but without sounding like an obnoxious know-it-all who thinks they’re always right. Here are a handful phrases that will help you strike that balance, and sound credible at work.

What does it mean to have ‘credibility’ at work?

Essentially, credibility is your ability to be believable, and worthy of others’ trust, according to Selena Rezvani, a workplace leadership trainer and author of the book, “Pushback: How Smart Women Ask—And Stand Up—For What They Want.” In fact, she says that credibility is a crucial aspect of any professional relationship.

“Part of communicating credibly means owning your voice and claiming credit for the value, skills and experience you bring the table,” Rezvani wrote in a recent article for MSNBC. “At the same time, credible leaders show that they’re intellectually humble.” This means owning up to your mistakes, and giving credit where credit is due, highlighting your colleagues’ accomplishments and contributions. 

Once you’ve established your credibility at work, Rezvani says that there will be more of a chance that your colleagues will approach you for advice and assistance. Not only could this potentially lead to other opportunities at the company now or in the future, but it may also give you more influence over your colleagues’ decisions and opinions, given that they trust you, she explains.

Phrases to make you sound credible at work

So how, exactly, do you sound more credible at work? Rezvani suggests incorporating these phrases into your workplace communication:

  • “I’d like to acknowledge the work of/give credit to…”
  • “Here’s what we know today…Here’s how we’ll build on that in the future…”
  • “I’d like to get your feedback…”
  • “Here’s a summary of the results…”
  • “I appreciate you sharing that. This is new/scary/challenging…”
  • “I wanted to let you know X is on track/on-pace/on-budget.”
  • “I miscalculated….”
  • “Thanks for the compliment. I’m thrilled with how it turned out, too!”

Read Rezvani’s full MSNBC article for more insight into sounding credible at work.



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