Do you need a good reputation?

It would seem that reputation is not a big consideration for most people these days. Still, the only way to avoid actually having one is to remain a stranger. As soon as any of us begins interacting with others, we begin revealing details about ourselves that will influence how others see us, interact with us and ultimately trust us.

Reputation is a long term concept that we build with each interaction. Unless you’re famous and have the media to contend with, there are really only two areas that influence your reputation. The first is personal experience. Your actual interactions and contact with people. The second is by communication, either word of mouth or social media. This is mainly what is being said about you. I read a great quote the other day by Michael Enzi, where he said “When you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu”. This is an unfortunate fact of life. People talk. I remember my dad saying, “If people will talk about other people to you, they will talk about you to other people”.

 

Abraham Lincoln said “Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.” We can’t completely control our reputation because it is based totally on the perception of us held by others. Each person we have anything to do with is likely to have a somewhat different perception of us and they may not line up with who we actually are.

I’ve shared this before, but, a long time ago there was a man in our church who commented that he had never known a Mills that had ever had anything. While I wasn’t the Mills that gave him that impression, I was a Mills that had been saddled with that reputation.

I decided that I would not allow his sentence on my last name define or limit me. I decided to live a life that would make his words false. The thing to consider when people think negatively about you is, are they people who’s opinion will hold you back or hinder your progress? In my case, this man’s opinion didn’t matter to me, but might have affected some of my relatives.

There are many benefits to having a good reputation. When you have a good reputation:

  1. People will prefer interacting with you.
  2. People will give you favor.
  3. People will be more willing to forgive.
  4. People will give you the benefit of the doubt in times of trouble.
  5. People will be more willing to help you.
  6. People will value you.

I think it’s vitally important for each of us to be intentional about our reputation. While we can’t control our reputation, we should care and we should be using all the tools we have available to influence what others think and say about us. We do this by taking a hard look at who we really are. It’s important here to judge yourself by your outcomes and not your intentions. What you intended to do but didn’t, is still not doing.

We need to take some time to look at what’s important to us. What are our core values? We then need to establish a strategy of consistently acting in line with our core values. Benjamin Franklin said “It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it.”

We need to build into our lives practices that help us live consistently, in order to make sure the reputation matches the real.

What steps can you take this week to begin building the reputation you really want? Please join the conversation by leaving a comment.

If this has been helpful to you, please share it. I appreciate your help in spreading the message.

Your buddy

Art

Tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *