“The way to gain a good reputation is to endeavor to be what you desire to appear.” - Socrates
They say that your reputation precedes you. The truth in that statement stems from the fact that the majority of your appearance and character is being delivered via word of mouth and personal opinions. Our reputations are our images; the very portrait of our being. It is important to defend our reputations and protect our images as a museum curator cares for artwork.
Here are a few immediate steps to preserving our reputations both personally and professionally:
#1 – The golden rule always applies. People always remember the way that you treated them. That’s a major part of your reputation. Your famous last words are famous to the person who remembers you. If you’re not proud of a certain moment, you can always remedy that with leading by example. Treat people the way that you want to be treated and you can’t go wrong, even if you’ve broken the golden rule in the past.
#2 – Be consistently good at what you do. Everyone delivers a product whether you run your own business, work for someone, or contract out your services. Your goods and services are what you deliver in your job or business. How you deliver the product is your calling card and a crucial part of your reputation. If you haven’t delivered the best product in the past, you have the opportunity to go above and beyond the last delivery of your product. Be consistently good.
#3 – Character matters. How you conduct yourself is a shining beacon of your reputation. It’s your character that matters. Who you are as a person can be even more of a defender of your reputation than your talents and skills. How many times have you heard someone exclaim, ‘Susan is talented, thorough, and always on time…. and she’s a great person!’ Someone is always going to mention something about how someone behaves and conducts themselves. We notice character traits more than anything else. If you take care of your character, your reputation will take care of itself.
#4 – Live up to how you want to appear, and be honest with your intentions. You determine how you want to be known in your specific industry or field. You are also the cultivator of your relationships whether personal or professional. It is up to you to live up to how you want to want to be known. Sincerity and honesty are two of the best defenders and preservers of a reputation. Be honest with your relationships and find a way for them to be mutually beneficial. Live with intent. You are the ultimate defender of your reputation.
#5 – Not everyone is going to like you, and that’s okay. Stand up for yourself and your values. Pleasing everyone is impossible. You can’t always crank out a perfect product one hundred percent of the time. Those who respect you and your reputation will see who you truly are. It’s important to stick to your values and work ethics. Respect for yourself and what you bring to the table are crucial in business and personal relationships. Those are the key elements for success in any field and they will shine through as your true reputation defenders.
Claire Friday is a special events producer, writer, and career consultant who resides in Las Vegas.
She writes a weekly blog entitled Done By Friday that focuses on career advancement advisement and success strategies for the self-employed entrepreneur. More information can be found on her website at clairefriday.com.