The Reality of Having to ‘Fight’ the Battles of Crisis of Reputation
“You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.”
Overcoming adversity requires psychological and emotional strength, endurance and perseverance. It often demands far more attempts at recovery than one might initially speculate. The same holds true with a crisis of reputation, whether for you as an individual or as an organization.
Why is this? Even responding with what we believe is our best intentions, what we do can be experienced emotionally as woefully insufficient by those receiving our apology.
There are usually good reasons for it too. People and organizations don’t always “get it,” as in why people are upset, critical and unforgiving.
There are, however, of course the very common errors of our delayed expressions of regret, shame, humility and remorse.
Apologies, as well, can be clunky and lack sincerity and understanding. Impatience or arrogance can slip out. No efforts to “make right,” and compensate others in some meaningful fashion (to them) are offered or extended.
We can also make a grand error of communicating, directly or indirectly, that we, selfishly, just want people to “get over it” so we (not they) can be at peace and move forward.
And, of course, the higher the level of egregiousness people believe is present that resulted in our crisis of reputation can make earning forgiveness more taxing.
In short, both the seriousness of our mistakes and errors and our uneducated and unskilled responses to them mean we may have to “fight a battle more than once to win it.”
Yet there are also circumstances — very real — when we have been falsely judged and punished and still must “fight” to overcome.
These can be the most painful challenges because we are fighting someone else’s assumptions or their wrongdoing, which can become a non-stop storm of resistance that can take many forms: people not listening to us with an open mind, them rejecting any contrary information to what they want to believe, them enjoying the power imbalance, abuse and schadenfreude.
Regardless of the reasons behind the mountains to climb in reputation crisis, realizing that it is going to be arduous to successfully navigate and overcome can bring greater clarity and peace about what is necessary to one day, have one’s reputation restored or reconstructed.
From there, it’s wisdom, poise, courage, admirable character and the commitment to stepping into what needs to be done in the minds of other people. Doing this, we can help correct errors and be experienced and perceived differently and thus create a new, improved narrative about what our character is and who we are as people.
Michael Toebe is a founder and specialist who helps individuals and organizations with further building, protecting, restoring or reconstructing reputation quality. He helps at Reputation-Quality.com, Reputation-Interviews.com and QSR-Guide.com. He is also the author of “Your Reputation Signature: What It Is, Why It Matters and How to Protect, Restore and Reconstruct It,” available on Amazon.