In a world where more people are or will be participating in some form of the Gig Economy, it can seem like everyone is spending more time selling and marketing to everyone else. However, few are prepared for how to build consistent credibility and confidence, confront fear and dread, and believably present our ideas to others, whether individuals, groups, or audiences.

Enter Rob Jolles, a master-communicator who builds on his lengthy career in sales, sales training, professional speaking, and coaching in his newly-published, sixth book, Why People Don’t Believe You…Building Credibility from the Inside Out. He honors the fact that for most readers, time is precious and limited. The book is relatively brief, and moves succinctly and fluidly, much like his own presenting style. It’s also deeply personal without being too intrusive or over-sharing. He helps make his points with examples from his own life, inside and outside the workplace.

He recognizes that workplace success has a lot to do with how you conduct your life outside of work. The credibility/communication skills he writes about are applicable beyond work, to how we interact with family, friends, and strangers in a variety of settings. That points to a number of strengths he draws on in helping readers become more suited to our unforgiving 21st century knowledge economy:

The Power of Family and Friends. Rob writes about lessons learned from his father, Lee, and other family members and friends, going back to childhood. In applying this in our own work, it necessitates serious thinking about relationships, while mining memories beyond the surface level to help us perform at higher levels today and tomorrow.

The Power of Early Jobs. Many people might gloss over their experience during jobs held as teenagers, or in college. But he relates lessons learned from such disparate early jobs as baseball umpire and movie theater usher, and why they are important in areas such as communication and strategic observation skills.

The Power of Sports. Drawing business and personal success lessons from the world of sports is not unusual. (For instance, see my recent blog post “Sports Psychology And Workplace Performance with Michael Bar-Eli.”) But besides the above-mentioned baseball umpiring, he engagingly relates anecdotes and insights from years of coaching basketball; plus his experiences swimming, running in marathons, playing golf, and other sports. All have applicability to how we can build confidence and credibility at work and beyond.

The Power of the Arts. Rob has long been involved in acting and other forms of the arts, and he draws numerous examples from how successful actors, directors, visual artists, and musicians approach their work. If they can’t sell themselves and their talents, they’re not likely to find audiences, followers, or employers.

Why People Don’t Believe You fits in neatly with related books on persuading others and ‘selling’ yourself, whether or not you are directly in sales or marketing, including Daniel Pink’s To Sell is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others; G. Richard Shell’s The Art of Woo: Using Strategic Persuasion to Sell Your Ideas; and Robert Cialdini’s Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion. The reality is that, whether we use the terminology or not, our success increasingly depends upon the manner in which we speak (not just what we say), how we negotiate, how we interact with others, and how we persuade.

During the past five years, I’ve become friends with Rob as a fellow Berrett-Koehler author, and as I wrote in a recent post, he was one of the presenters at the BK 2018 Marketing Workshop. His book is a reflection of who he genuinely is as a person, and given the emphasis on authenticity and believability, that is justifiably high praise.

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