RelationshipEngine-2The role of the leader has evolved. Tom Feeney, president and CEO of Safelite Auto Glass, recently validated that point for me. He stated, “It is not longer enough to merely direct action; today we must inspire and empower belief which requires us to build more trusting relationships with people than ever before.”

Excerpt from The Relationship Engine by Ed Wallace

Available this fall at Amazon and AMACOM

Until you are credible, your clients will not be interested in trusting you or exploring how you can help them.

Establishing credibility can help you work toward displaying your integrity. As your clients learn to trust you, they begin to share their goals, passions, and struggles, and they ask you to deliver on various commitments. facebook down .

Finally, after you’ve delivered on those commitments, authenticity comes into play. During this stage your client welcomes your help, even when it is unsolicited or when you have been honest about not having all of the answers.


When you make worthy intent your going-in principle in your business relationships, then credibility, integrity, and authenticity—the three essential qualities for creating relational capital—will be more easily and readily expressed, and you will be well on your way to advancing every business relationship.

Ed Wallace


The American Heritage Dictionary defines credibility as “The power to elicit belief.”

Slide2Credibility is the quality that makes others believe in you, your words, and your actions. Credibility is the gatekeeper quality. expiration of domains . If you don’t first establish credibility and competence with your prospect or client, you will struggle to create anything more than a transactional relationship with that individual.

Your credibility has a major impact on your success in any business relationship. We frequently discuss creating trust-based relationships, but unless you are credible early on, your opportunities to display trustworthiness will be limited.

As client-facing professionals, we all want our clients to trust us. Once they do, we can start doing things for them in order to move the process along. However, until we are deemed credible and competent, why should clients trust us?

Credible people transcend the automatic sense of urgency that permeates much of today’s world by working to identify real priorities and opportunities.

One way to get started during conversations is to establish common ground with questions like:

  • “Tell me about how this project connects to the company’s strategy?”
  • “What are you personally looking to achieve with this initiative?”
  • “How long have you been with the company?”
  • Or when all else fails…”Where are you from?”


My friend and mentor Max, the famous taxi driver, called this approach “sincere inquiry.”

  1. First, try focusing on blocking out all distractions like checking your blackberry during the conversation.
  2. Second, listen intently.
  3. Third, confirm your understanding and follow up with a question that displays you listened and conveys your interest in the topic.

Credibility begins with taking the time to become interested in aspects of your colleague’s business goals and objectives.

Three Essential Qualities

Relational Capital
The distinctive value created by people in a business relationship.

Your ability to advance business relationships by creating relational capital with your clients is the most impactful way for you to distinguish yourself in your client interactions. In my book, Business Relationships That Last, I discuss the principle of worthy intent as the foundational, or “going in,” approach to every business relationship.

In the next series of blog posts, I will explore the three essential qualities that are at work as you create relational capital in every one of your business relationships.

Your credibility, integrity, and authenticity constitute the essential foundation upon which you build relational capital in the business world. These qualities impact how you are perceived and valued, and their convergence results in the relational attributes that attach to you in every business relationship.

Credibility, integrity, and authenticity are present in every business relationship to some degree because each of us possesses. these qualities. In outstanding business relationships, however, these qualities form the very basis of the relationship, leading to many competitive advantages and rewards for client-facing professionals.

And while each quality is important in its own right, understanding how the three converge is the key to creating relational capital with each business contact.

Many businesspeople perceive these qualities to be very similar; in fact, my clients routinely substitute one for the other during our discussions.

Looking closer, however, we can see that there are important fine distinctions among the definitions of each term, as well as a distinct order in how each one manifests itself in a business relationship.