It doesn’t matter how much you amass in business, the real value and most important asset is your reputation. If you have a great one, it builds trust and inspires and it can bring success both in your career and personal life. If long term success is important to you, it’s important to understand the value it can bring and to guard your reputation because what others think can make or break us.
It can take a lifetime to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. Our reputations are extremely fragile and can break easily especially if they are ignored. Today, with social media, there is added complexity to reputation management and trigger reactions can ruin you faster than it takes to read this sentence. You can say anything you want, at anytime, from anywhere. And while it is an amazing tool to have, it can be flipped on its head quickly.
Cell phone videos are capturing more and more and online detectives are finding people’s names, workplaces, and outing them for bad behaviour. Joining a rant on Facebook might end up costing you friends, business, and careers. Emotions can take over quickly and you are now being judged by the entire world with just a click of a button.
No longer are journalists the gatekeepers of information asking important questions like “who is the source.” Citizen journalism has taken over and validity does not matter. Facts matter less than does going viral. People are more interested in passing judgement on others than finding out the real story.
While this can sound ominous, there are things you can do to keep your reputation safe and in check.
Know and Live Your Value
It’s important to know your worth and to stand firm by what you believe. There will always be challenges to your reputation but it’s important to be firm and make smart decisions to build your reputation. You need to have your reputation set in stone and decide before you get into a situation what you believe and how to handle yourself.
Of course, it’s virtually impossible to be perfect all the time, so when things fall, fix it quickly. Apologize, correct the situation and acknowledge what you did. Don’t bother to rationalize, own your words and actions and then make a commitment to the people you offended that it won’t happen again and move on. Don’t dwell.
Once you have mended your reputation it’s then time to get back on your horse and continue in the direction you want to go. Stay diligent, pay attention to every moment and do what you believe is right.
If you keep things positive and others in mind when presenting yourself or your argument, it’s easy to keep your reputation in check. If you find that you are easily triggered and regretting your actions. It’s time to put in the work for self discovery and worth.
Remember, your reputation is what people say about you when you are not in the room. What do you want them to say? Once you have decided on that, work towards achieving those results.