By Robert Jerus
Your reputation is crucial to generating opportunities and achieving your targeted objectives. But to build a solid reputation, you need to undertake deliberate work, both within yourself and with others.
Reputations are often created accidently, by rumor, gossip and unexpected publicity. They are influenced by exaggerations, misinformation and outright falsehoods. So you can’t form the reputation you want based only on your own intent or desire. You have to establish it through action.
Here are 10 ways to build the reputation you want.
Know who you are and what you want your reputation to be. Self-awareness is the foundation of professional and personal achievement. Reputation comes from structured, intentional communication. Be real and honest.Set a clear, defined path: Planning and implementation translate your intentions into reputation. Carefully define and develop the image you want to share, so that you can clearly and effectively articulate it. When misunderstandings and errors occur, they can be addressed and corrected.Be consistent with your thoughts, feelings, values, commitments, conversations and performance. Do what you say you will; be authentic. Inconsistency produces confusion, devaluing your image and creating a cloudy reputation. Strong reputations are built on consistency.Have self-assurance and self-esteem. Believe in yourself and your worth. Know what you do well. Measure and document it. Lead the charge with confidence. Have some legitimate swag Share information about your achievements.Take the stage: Perform at the highest level. For the greatest impact and effect, let your light shine. Reputation is based on performance. Find the best and highest stages to perform on. Look for opportunities to deliver. Don’t tell people what you can do; demonstrate it. Document your performance and show measurable results.Have a sense of accomplishment and pride. Recognize and share your accomplishments, and build on them continuously by adding something each and every day. Reputations are crafted. Take the initiative to construct yours. Share information and progress. Develop connections and fans.Don’t give it away. For better or worse, people associate value with cost. Even when you do work pro-bono or at a reduced fee, be sure the audience understands the value of your contribution. Ask for something in return, such as referrals or testimonials.Speak well of yourself, those you serve, and others who provide similar services. Build up others and their reputations. Avoid a negative tone, as it speaks poorly of the sender. Follow Grandma’s advice: “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” Speaking well of yourself and others increases your likability. Kind words are not a mistake, as long as they’re honest and well intentioned.Act with discipline and forethought. Take time to perform to the best of your abilities. Never compromise the integrity or quality of your work. Take responsibility, and associate with people of like character. Always be building your reputation. Remember that nothing you say is ever “off the record.” Make active choices to be the person you want to appear to be. If you make mistakes, take responsibility. An apology is never enough. Fix it.Have a heart to serve and give. Remember that reputations are built on delivery, not intention. Serve more. Be active and disciplined, and ready to take advantage of opportunities. Continuously grow and improve.
What are your thoughts and experiences?
Professor Bob is the author of Mind Matters: Applying Emotional Intelligence for Personal and Professional Success and the founder of Success Dynamics International, the provider of the EIQ-2™ the world’s most comprehensive emotional intelligence learning and performance development systems and emotional intelligence certification. He is a frequent keynote speaker at public and private engagements. Professor Bob has taught business, psychology and adult development at the university level for over 30 years. As a consultant, coach and trainer, he has worked with Fortune 500 Organizations and aspiring entrepreneurs.