Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Why Should Professionals Treat Reputation As An Asset

REPUTATION, The Asset That Will Make or Break Your Career

In in his book,  'The 48 Law of piwer' by
Robert Greene states that, "So Much Depends on Reputation – Guard it with your Life".

Reputation is a the beliefs or opinions that are generally held about someone or something.

In the fighting in the North African desert during World War II, the German general Erwin Rommel had a reputation for cunning and deceptive maneuvering that struck terror into everyone who faced him. Even when his forces were depleted and the British tanks outnumbered his by five to one, entire cities would be evacuated at the news of his approach.

During China’s War of the Three Kingdoms (A.D.207-265), General Liang was able to fool his rival Sima Yi simply by letting his track record for being an undefeated leader in battle do the work for him. Liang’s troops were far outnumbered by Sima Yi’s, yet he devised a clever last resort plan. Liang donned a Taoist robe and played the lute upon the wall of the city he was defending. His soldiers opened the gates and hid. When Sima Yi’s troops advanced upon the unguarded city, Yi recognized his opponent sitting alone upon the wall. Fearing a trap, Sima Yi called his soldiers to retreat.

As they say, your reputation inevitably precedes you

Regardless of who you are or how high up you are in the corporate hierarchy, if you make a big enough mistake, then you could be fired. Worse, you might actually ruin your career.

Reputation is a treasure to be carefully collected and hoarded. Especially when you are first establishing it, you must protect it strictly, anticipating all attacks on it.

In his book “The Power of Reputation: Strengthen the Asset That Will Make or Break Your Career,” Chris Komisarjevsky , former CEO of Burson-Marstellar, offers an action plan for strengthening your most important asset.

Why should professionals treat reputation as an asset?

In every facet of our lives — personal and professional — reputation is one of our most treasured and powerful assets. And I use the word “asset” intentionally, because reputation, like any asset, has exchange value.

I look on reputation as an asset from two perspectives.

First, we own our reputation and it is extraordinarily important to our careers and our success. How we behave and, in turn, what we do, become career assets. All of that is under our own control. In short, we are responsible for the views that others have of us and those views make a difference to our own career success. Since we own our reputation and can do something about it, it has value. It is an asset.

Second, as an asset, reputation has exchange value, much like any currency. We may not be using cash or bartering, but we engage in active exchanges based on the value of our reputation. If our reputation is strong and positive, we are able to attract business, gain support for our initiatives and ideas, earn that promotion or get that coveted new position. However, if our reputation is weak or negative, none of that happens.
Quite frankly, your reputation is the asset that will make or break your career.

What are a few key steps to ensure that our reputation endures all of the ups and downs that occur during a career?
In my view, there are three:

First, be sure to have a strong set of values that underlie your actions. Your reputation is an outward expression of your values: how you live them and how you project them to others in what you do, how you do it and why you do what you do.

Second, regardless of if you are riding success or are on the brink of a problem, think through every decision and every word you use from the perspective of your key values. Ask yourself, “If I were in danger of losing my job, what values would I not sacrifice even if it meant that I were to lose my job?”

And third, don’t only focus on “what” you plan to do in tough situations, but ask yourself “why” you decide to do what you do. The “why” can be more telling than the “what.” Most often, the “why” dictates “what” you do. Look hard at your motives.

Socrates adviced that, “The way to gain good reputation is to endeavor to be what you desire to appear.”

Here are 10 simple ways to improve your reputation according to forb.com

1. Do what you say you’ll do.
It sounds so darn simple, but think about it: How many times did you request that your banker send you something, that your assistant pick something up, or that your vendor call you back, to no avail? You then have to remember to follow up and hope that they keep their word. Now think of a time when someone told you they’d do something and delivered on it. You probably think of them as reliable and dependable. You trust them. And in all likelihood, you’d give them a strong recommendation or referral, right? Aim to be that person.

2. Go out of your way to help others reach their goals.
Being reputable goes beyond a concern for yourself and your own advancement. Foster a mindset of helping other people. Is your friend’s child in college and looking to get some insights into the business world? Offer to spend some time speaking with him/her to offer guidance and answer questions. Do you know someone in sales who is looking for a deal? Ask them if you can help by making the right introduction. Does one of your co-workers need to leave 30 minutes early for a family commitment? Offer to cover for them.

3. Make other people look good.
Have you ever been thrown under the bus? No fun, right? It’s important to find ways to make other people look good (for reasons other than not being a jerk). Did someone refer you to a company as a possible client or for a job? Make sure to make them look great as a thank you! Get there early, be prepared, and follow up accordingly in a timely manner with both parties. By making the referring party look great for introducing you, your reputation continues to grow.

4. Go a step beyond what is expected. Did someone ask for a reference from you? Offer three. Did you say you’d save them 10 percent? Save them 15. Did you say you’d follow up in 24 hours? Follow up in 12. If you had a great meeting, send a hand-written thank you note. These small gestures go a long way and will make you stand out.

5. Look the part.
An often overlooked and undervalued component to your reputation is your first impression. And like it or not, people make judgements before you open your mouth. Be sure to dress for the environment you’re in. Don’t be too casual. Always err on the side of being too dressy if you aren’t sure of the dress code. Make sure your attire is clean, unwrinkled, well fitting and modern. Have your hair groomed, and if you wear makeup, make sure it’s not distracting. Don’t lose your chance to impress someone simply because you don’t look appropriate.

6. Consider your body language.
Your body language tells people a lot. Make sure you have your body facing your audience, your feet pointed towards them, and a tall stance. Nod your head to show agreement, leaning into the other person at times, and smile here and there. Check out body language expert Vanessa Van Edwards, founder of the Science of People , for some great tips on how your body language is speaking for you.

7. Be consistent.
Being inauthentic will do you no good, because you won’t be able to remain consistent. You need to show the same great qualities to everyone you meet, bad days included. If you are great in one setting and nasty, rude, and/or cold in other environments, your reputation will suffer. People are willing to share negative experiences much more readily than positive ones. And as you know, they can spread quickly.

8. Act with integrity.
This should be the foundation of everything you do. But, especially in the world of business, small acts of greed, selfishness and jealousy can work against you (in ways you may not even notice) and showcase your lack of integrity. If you wouldn’t buy the deal you’re selling, don’t sell it. If you know you can’t get back to someone when you promise, that is not being forthright.

9. Get engaged with your community. Your community can be as small as your office or as large as your city. Your engagement will have everything to do with your values and goals. Being engaged means getting to know people, giving back your time and resources, and being available.

10. Be likeable.
Being likeable directly relates to being you. Smile more, approach someone you don’t know, offer a handshake, or wish someone congratulations. These small things can all make you more likeable. What is unlikeable is being fake. Be careful not to falsify who you are just to be likeable.

In addition
11) Learn to say 'I'm sorry'.
Why is saying “I am sorry” such a daunting task for some professionals?
If those words are used to show compassion for others, they flow rather easily, but when it comes to recognizing or admitting your own shortcomings, they make many people gag.

Why is it so hard to say “I am sorry”? I guess it is probably because that kind of admission means a public acknowledgment that you have made a mistake and, in some ways, failed to live up to your own expectations and those of others, especially those who trusted you. That can be hard to take.

But the fact is, an apology can be among the most powerful statements you can make. It can be disarming, candid and full of character and maturity.

Especially in our culture, people are very willing and eager to forgive … but only if they see and feel remorse. The fact is that we all make mistakes. We are human.

Some may see it as a risk. But I don’t. If we have done something wrong, we need to acknowledge our role, accept our responsibility, do what is needed and move on.
According to John Ellis "Mistakes are meant to be corrected, not ignored or disregarded".

Always remember this, "It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation , and only one bad one to lose it".

Please share your thoughts with me by clicking the post a comment box below

Ishola Ayodele is a Public Relations practitioner and a member of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations.

He offers the following services to Large Corporations, SMEs and Individuals.

Result Driven Communication,
Effective Crisis Communication,
Effectual Political Communication,
Reputation and Image management,
And Impactful Presentation Coaching.
He can be reached on 08077932282
WhatsApp 08077932282,
BBM 58ED6030,
twitter handle @ishopr

No comments:

Post a Comment