- Who decides what is credible?
- What are the standards by which credibility is measured?
- How can Reiki practitioners establish credibility?
The first question is easy to answer. We each decide for ourselves what is credible. That is our personal responsibility. Credibility is an individual assessment.
We are all the Reiki police.
Each one of us is the guardian of our practice. How well are we doing our job? What are the standards by which we gauge credibility?
Standards for Reiki Credibility
Consider one of the most common statements about Reiki practice: Reiki does no harm.
Now put yourself in the position of someone completely new to Reiki, someone googling around to decide if Reiki is worth pursuing. Madame Newbie finds the statement “Reiki does no harm” presented on a website with no explanation, as if it were a commonly recognized fact.
And maybe it is, in Reiki circles.
But Madame Newbie doesn’t live in a Reiki circle. She’s exploring new territory. She wants credible information so she can decide for herself if Reiki practice is safe and worth her time and money, and if a particular Reiki practitioner is reliable and trustworthy. She won’t accept something as true just because a Reiki enthusiast says it is so.
Madame Newbie becomes even more skeptical if a Reiki website expects her to accept Reiki on its terms instead of her own. If we’re lucky, Madame Newbie will move on to another, more credible Reiki website.
But she might just give up on Reiki before she finds one.
A credible presenter is sensitive to Madame Newbie’s need to think it through for herself. Today even doctors have to share their reasoning with patients, and doctors have worked hard to establish credibility.
What credibility do Reiki practitioners have? Only what we create.
How Can We Establish Credibility?
We establish credibility when we treat people with respect, and feed critical thinkers the unembellished information their inquiring minds need to make informed decisions.
When we overlook people’s need for reasonable information, we are asking them to believe us. Not so credible.
People who already like and trust us will be inclined to accept what we say, especially if they share our worldview, but that’s based on emotional persuasion, not credibility, and it doesn’t carry over to the mainstream public.
How might we present the statement “Reiki does no harm” credibly?
Let’s look at what Madame Newbie would consider to be the facts. Reiki practice involves light touch or non-touch. It does not involve any manipulation of tissue, nor the ingestion of any substance.
We can reasonably say something along these lines:
Reiki treatment is non-invasive and considered safe because Reiki is practiced through light touch, and no substance is ingested. Reiki treatment can also be offered without any contact.
3 Elements of Credible Communication
In person, our respectful, calm demeanor and thoughtfulness help establish credibility. Online and in the media, we establish credibility primarily through carefully chosen words and images.
Here are three elements of credible communication:
- Appreciating the reader’s need for unbiased information
- Giving information that is either documented or self-evident (such as, light touch/non-touch is non-invasive)
- Clearly separating personal experience and perspective from “facts.”
Credibility is different than agreement. We can agree with something said about Reiki — for example, Reiki does no harm — and find the statement not credible when presented on its own, without support.
When we as Reiki practitioners hold ourselves to high standards of credibility, we pave the way for agreement. When people agree with the information we offer, and feel comfortable with the way we offer it, why wouldn’t they take the next step to experience Reiki for themselves?
Are there Reiki statements you need help communicating credibly? Please scroll down and share as a comment below.
Want to learn to communicate Reiki more credibly? The TALKING REIKI: Communication series is designed to improve your effectiveness and comfort when talking about Reiki, and you can access the recordings online anytime you want, as many times as you want. Click here to learn more.
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