demonstrate your competence instead of announcing your credentials

I used to begin every training session or class I led by saying something like:

“So, who is Julie Stiles Mills and why should you listen to anything she has to say?”

Then I would give a brief intro to establish my credibility, sharing my education, experience, and sometimes a little bit about my teaching/learning philosophy.

I announced my credentials.

People on the receiving end of my self-introduction were usually polite. Most even gave me some eye contact or a smile.

Over the years, I’ve come to a realization that I was taking – actually wasting – time talking about myself when what the people in front of me REALLY wanted was to get to the part where what I had to say actually benefited them.

These days, I just skip directly to that part and

I let my credibility establish itself organically,

not only

through demonstrated competence,

but also through empathy and personal attention.

It keeps me on my toes, because if I don’t know what I’m talking about, my credibility takes a hit.

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