How to Build Your Reputation:
As much of the focus of this centers around perception vs. reality – most especially from the viewpoint of the observer rather than ourselves – it is imperative to understand the manner in which you present yourself in every respect: appearance, demeanor, tone, body language, friendliness, comfort, etc. These various elements of presentment that comprise the impression you make upon an initial introduction are not to be underestimated, but most certainly can be purposely described as encompassing what is at stake at this point of connecting with others in two words that will determine if, and how, you will be allowed to proceed– authenticity and trust. An often-overlooked element of any sustainable relationship is that it is essentially permission based and ground zero must rely on your ability to construct the perception of authenticity and trust in order to move forward. Nothing can be built without a foundation, certainly nothing of any lasting value. Meaningful connections, leading to relationships from which you and your business can thrive, is derived from establishing the connection, and subsequent reputation, of relationship authenticity and trust.
How to Maintain Your Reputation:
Reputation maintenance is perhaps one of the most neglected and forgotten elements of relationship strength and integrity. However, reputations cannot be, nor ever are, passive, even if neglected by you. Big mistake. That is the very point of it – it again is not so much “maintained” by you as it is by the others who have formulated it about you. With a foundation of authenticity and trust presumably laid, it needs to always be furthered. In today’s world each of you is a business – not just as an entrepreneur but also as an individual. As such, what are you doing to maintain it? There is a saying that business – you individually and your startup – is like an automobile…it won’t run by itself except downhill. Everything worth preserving is worth maintaining. It is often, like golf, a game of inches. Little things don’t mean a lot, they mean everything in the eyes and mind of those around you. Every little thing that you do, or don’t do, matters to them. Maintaining your reputation means a constant inventory of each and every thing that you do with each and every person that you do anything with, toward, or about. It requires self-awareness, self-diligence, and self-discipline on your part to find, keep, and satisfy others with whom you are attending to. How are you doing it, and can you be doing it better? Whatever that is, you must attend to the four essential elements of building relationships that result in the reputation that will be established and attached to you: Time, Intensity, Trust, and Reciprocity. Neglect any of them, and you begin to erode all that you’ve worked to build, maintain, and extend.
How to Repair a Damaged Reputation:
The genesis of any repair to your reputation must first and always begin with your thoughts about who you are, what you did or did not do, and what must be done to right any wrong. Ignoring the reality of a bruised and/or damaged reputation will only add insult to injury by doing so to those so affecting your reputation. The path in this case of least resistance as they say makes men and rivers crooked. Most likely not what you want, so you must journey through the following phases toward repair:
About Mike Muhney