Wednesday, January 23, 2013

5 Tips to Maintain Credibility When Under Fire

Your Personal Brand is one thing. Your Personal Brand under fire is another.

The true test of your Personal Brand comes when you're faced with a crisis:

  • Perhaps you have been challenged on a report you have written
  • Maybe someone has questionned your leadership technique
  • Or someone seems to be trampling your values

Whatever the crisis, it's important to check in with yourself to decide how you want to respond.

And that's the important thing, to check in with yourself first.

All too often, people respond in an empassioned knee jerk way: do first, think later (or not at all).

To maintain your credibility it's vital that you think first and then respond.

Even if you're under pressure to make a decision... you just have to think very, very quickly.

Here are 5 steps to get you focused:


1. What are the absolute facts here?
2. What assumptions am I making?


3. Ask your counterpart for specifics: you don't want to react to a generalised statement.

So, for example: if the challenge you were faced with ran something like this:

"I think this report you've written is littered with errors."

Instead of assuming he means the entire piece is littered with errors, ask for some more information:

"Ok, to be clear, can you point out exactly what the errors are?"

4. Now, based on his reply, reassess the facts and ask yourself if your counterpart is justified in his claim?

5a. If so, offer to correct the error quickly - speed is important; you don't want an issue lingering on.

5b. If no, push back assertively!

When have you felt challenged and how did you respond? Did you think and then do? What were the outcomes?

- Rebecca


  1. Great article Rebecca. A personal brand is so important - and especially important to maintain in times of crisis. I've been challenged before and questioned in my career - but I've always found that stopping, thinking, asking for more information, helps me craft a well thought out response. A useful reminder - thanks! Ursula

  2. Thanks Ursula! I'm so pleased you found the post valuable. Rebecca