3 ways to improve your reputation
6 weeks ago an electrician popped over to our place to provide a quote on putting in a new power board. He said it wasn’t a big job and he’d back towards the end of next week to do it. They always say that. Do you think he ever came back?
As your career unfolds your reputation continues to be built. Every day you interact with all sorts of people. Some already know you, and have already formed an opinion on you. Some don’t and may be quick to judge you, based on their own map of the world.
Your reputation goes with you everywhere you choose to go. It’s not something that you can simply switch on and off.
Reputations are very powerful. They exist without you being there.
Think about what you have done in the past when you have had a great experience with a film, a restaurant or a service provider. You tell other people. The scary fact is that when you experience something bad you will be more likely to tell a lot more people.
Think about how you spend your time and the impact that this has on your own reputation. Everything that you do is in some way affecting your reputation.
If you are always 10 minutes late for meetings this sends a message to the other attendees about how you value your time in comparison to theirs. If you allocate 2 hours a day to Facebook and Twitter updates this sends a message out about your priorities. If you check your emails during meetings or even better, take calls (but speak softly) during meetings this will affect your reputation.
After every interaction you have with someone you leave them with an experience of you. Your reputation is so powerful. It’s hanging around, much like a vegetarian in a fruit shop, long after you have left the room.
3 ways to improve your reputation
No matter what type of work you do you can easily enhance your reputation every day. I have found over the years that the people I work with who have a great reputation tend to consistently do the following 3 things:
1. Do what you say you are going to do
It doesn’t sound hard, but not as many people do it as you would think. If you say I’ll call Greta tomorrow, then call Greta tomorrow. If you say we need to make a decision about the Bigalov project file by Friday, they lets make a decision about Bigalov by Friday. Listen closely to your words. Your reputation is being damaged if you are saying what you want to say, but you aren’t delivering on it. You don’t want to be known as someone who only tells people what they want you to hear. This is not always helpful when it comes to building a successful and sustainable long term reputation.
2. Give without expectation
We all know there are 2 types of people in the world. The givers and the takers. If you are seen as a taker, think for a moment about how damaging this will be to your ongoing reputation. People with successful and established reputations are constantly giving without any expectation in return. Think of how Karma works. Build a world class reputation based on what you can give not what you can take. Work on exceeding others expectations.
3. Be consistent
This is probably the key. You will build a personal brand through providing a consistent level of service. Be consistently average and that’s how you will be perceived. Heh, there’s nothing wrong with being average. Look at McDonalds. You wouldn’t feed their food to your dog, yet they never seem to run out of customers. The reason? People know what they are getting. No surprises. They are happy to eat that food and drink those shakes because they know what they are getting.
When should I start building my reputation?
Start right now. Keep a better record of your commitments. Checklists might help. Listen closely to your words. If you find yourself saying No more often to certain requests this could be a good sign. It indicates that you are more aware of what you can do and what you can’t do. Work hard on not making promises that you can’t deliver on.
I’m still waiting for the electrician to come back. In fact if he does come back at some stage we don’t need him. We’ve changed our mind about having the power board in that spot. Good job he’s unreliable. He saved us $350