Celebrities and high-ranking political officials make a concerted effort to craft their reputation shouldn’t you? Everything from the way they dress, to the words that they use, the things they do, the places they are seen, and the people they associate with are all orchestrated to build their reputation.
A Good Reputation is Difficult to Attain
A good reputation is difficult and time consuming to build. Once established, it must be maintained and can be used as currency to open doors of opportunities for yourself and others. Unfortunately, your reputation can be easily destroyed and once tarnished it is near impossible to rebuild back to its original status.
Although you cannot control everything that is said about you, there are a few decisions you need to make to manage your reputation. What kind of reputation do you aspire to have? Think in descriptive words- dependable, honest, diplomatic, polished, etc. Then consider what actions you must take on a regular basis to become that descriptive word.
Know Your Current Reputation
Know the reputation you currently have. Are you known as a go-getter, a gossip, a problem solver, a whiner, a slacker, or a kiss up? What do you do on a regular basis to maintain or discredit this opinion of you? How do you see yourself? If you do not like your reputation, begin the process to make some changes.
Start by reviewing your existing reputation. What are people saying about you? You need to monitor social mentions of your name, company name, and major projects. Be a person of your word. It’s not what you say; it’s what you actually do. Your actions speak louder than your words and people form opinions about you based on how you act or react.
You Earn Your Reputation Over Time
Your reputation is being built when you do simple things– such as, return a call/email in a timely fashion, write a piece of correspondence, make a presentation, when you make and keep a promise, the attitude you display on a daily basis, the clothing you wear and how you interact with others. Be conscious of your daily activities and how they impact your reputation.
The key to building and managing your reputation is consistency. If your goal is to be known as a polished professional then you must be consistent and dress the part everyday until those around you automatically associate you with being well dressed and then you must sustain that image.