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Rebels at Work by Debra Cameron, Carmen Medina, Lois Kelly

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Chapter 3. Gaining Credibility

As a rebel, you need to gain as much credibility as possible so that people will listen to you. In fact, you want so much credibility that people look forward to hearing your ideas (at least once, anyway).

For that to happen, you’ll need to work on three things:

Your relationship with your boss
Understanding management concerns
Your relationships with others
Finding your rebel alliance
Your own growth
Increasing your trustworthiness

Understanding Your Boss

It’s almost impossible for rebels to gain credibility and trust if we don’t understand how our bosses and managers think, what motivates them, and what concerns them. What would they like to be able to achieve? What obstacles do they face? What are they afraid of?

What Worries Your Boss?

Some bosses, entrenched in positions of authority, are suspicious of new ideas because those ideas might undermine their authority or, worse, diminish their relevance. For leaders in this situation, any kind of change proposal is immediately suspect. They are not thinking about whether the idea is good or bad. Their frame of reference centers on themselves. How will this idea affect my job, my status? Will I become less important with this change? Might I even become unnecessary?

Most bosses, however, want their colleagues and departments to be respected, grow in responsibility and resources, and thrive harmoniously.

While they may worry about the risks of change on a personal level (“What will happen to my reputation ...

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