Sometimes the obvious is not something we easily learn and remember.
I was watching a movie last night where the lead character spoke about how we might only be known by our reputation.
Why is this important?
Whether as individuals or organizations, there are people with who we don’t have a history of human interaction with, yet they come to “know” us anyway by what they hear, read or see. From that point, their experiences with our name become perceptions and possibly strong judgments (positive or negative) and if that does transpire, we develop a reputation with them — again, positive or negative.
Now, this might not affect your life one bit, ever yet depending on different variables, it certainly could impact your well-being in a way that brings small or significant consequences and punishment.
Do we regularly realize this or keep it in mind? I would argue no. Look at our own lives sometimes. We don’t learn of people’s upset as soon as would be most beneficial. If we don’t learn this reality in our own lives then we certainly see it in other people’s lives, especially when we’re consuming the news.
Our reputation, personally and professionally, then is not only derived from our interactions with individuals or groups, it also is a byproduct of what people have heard, viewed or read about us.
It might not be an accurate assessment or feel “fair” yet “it is what it is”— and what it will be, either as a benefit or detriment to our well-being.
We can’t control every variable in life and we shouldn’t try to do so yet we can focus on always further improving our judgment, decision quality and actions, because by doing so we will do all that is within our moral power to build and protect a healthy reputation.
Committing to this will bring the added, highly desirable reward of receiving the welcomed and at times, invaluable benefit of the doubt in most murky situations.
People will not only more likely question or doubt negativity about us, they might very well dismiss it or defend us. Additionally, we can more quickly restore reputation if we know specifically how to most wisely correct errors and commit to taking those steps.
We might only be known by our reputation.
Worth knowing and remembering.
Michael Toebe is a specialist for communications, reputation and crisis at Reputation Quality. He has written analysis and advisory for Chief Executive, Corporate Board Member, Physicians Practice, the New York Law Journal, Corporate Compliance Insights and Training Industry. He also writes and produces Reputation Specialist Essays and Red Diamonds Essays.
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