Leaders are not perfect. They have weaknesses just like everyone else. However, their flaws are often amplified because they are in the spotlight and expected to be better than everyone else. Credibility is a valuable asset that you must consistently maintain and protect because it forms the base of your reputation. You cannot let it erode, or allow others to control it.
What is a Reputation?
A reputation is the total of how you come across to others, what they see in you, what they think about you, and how they judge your actions. In other words, it is a direct result of your past behavior and how you have conducted yourself in the eyes of others.
Having a good reputation brings opportunities, strong relationships, success, and personal satisfaction. Conversely, a bad reputation can bring isolation, misery, and failure.
Why is Reputation Management Important?
Your reputation affects how people think about you, the opportunities they give you, and the relationships they build with you.
It’s not just what others say. It’s also what you do that impacts your overall standing in the eyes of others. That is why it’s critical you don’t ignore your reputation. You have to proactively manage it. So, become your reputation manager.
What is a Reputation Manager?
A reputation manager is you! As a general rule, you must take control of your reputation and make sure it’s in line with the person you want to be. You have to be proactive in building and protecting your reputation. Don’t just sit back and hope for the best, be the one in charge of your image.
Every leader or manager has a reputation, whether they want one or not. And if you don’t manage your reputation, someone else will do it for you — without your input and often in a negative way.
You can’t afford to delegate your responsibility to someone else — take ownership of it and look after your reputation yourself.
So, here are 14 good reputation management examples:
1. Acknowledge First that Your Reputation Exists
The first step to managing your reputation as a leader or manager is acknowledging that it exists. You are the only one that can manage your reputation.
It is your responsibility to create a positive reputation by being mindful of what you say and do. It takes time to build a good reputation but does not take long to tarnish it if you don’t manage it well.
The first impression is the most important one. There are many ways you can give off the wrong impressions to someone, but the quickest is to disrespect other people.
You must understand that your reputation as a leader depends on how you conduct yourself and interact with those who work for you.
2. Be Authentic
It is very tempting to try and emulate another leader to make strides in your career. We all have a hero, someone we want to emulate and make a name for ourselves as they did.
But that is a mistake. If you try to be someone else, there is a high probability that you will fail. There is nothing that kills a reputation faster than trying to be someone else and failing miserably at it.
So, no matter what the temptation is, be yourself at all costs. Never try to emulate someone else. You will be found out quickly and lose credibility, fast.
Your reputation is built on this. It’s no secret, but the truth is that everyone wants to work with someone they know, like, and trust. Be yourself. People can spot an actor a mile away, so don’t try to convince people.
Read also: 23 Characteristics of a Good Boss
3. Do the Right Things
Good reputation management examples include always doing what is morally right even when no one is watching you and follow your conscience. The rewards are vast, and it pays off in many ways! A good reputation is not easy to build, but it is very easy to destroy.
You can’t afford to lose it. If you find yourself in a position where you must choose between two possible courses of action, always do the right thing, even if it means going against your own personal or selfish interests.
Doing the right things sometimes involves compromising or sacrificing your own needs and desires for someone else. The practice of self-sacrifice is the act of willfully surrendering something for the sake of another person or principle.
4. Earn Your Respect
Your reputation is the first thing that people will think of when they meet you. It’s not just for what you do professionally, but also for who you are as a person.
Everyone wants to be respected in the workplace. For employees, it’s about getting recognition for their good work. For managers, it’s about earning respect by exhibiting good leadership skills and talent management abilities.
Leading a team is difficult if your staff members don’t like or respect you. To be an effective manager you need to earn your employees’ respect and support — which starts with managing your reputation at work.
5. Be a Person of Character
A person of character is someone who has a positive reputation and does the right thing. Character can be defined as “moral strength”, so consequently, a person of character should also have good moral fortitude.
There are many ways to define what it means to be a person of character, but one important aspect is honesty. A person with good moral fortitude should have an honest disposition.
It can be tempting to withhold the truth, especially when faced with a difficult situation, but it is important to remain honest to maintain good character.
Being honest with yourself and others is not only the best but also the easiest way to make life easier for you and others around you.
6. Develop an Appropriate Culture
Culture is a vital aspect of any company. A company is only as good as the people it hires and would collapse without its good culture.
Work culture is the facet of a company’s success. It is what unifies all the employees and provides them with a sense of belonging to something great.
Create a culture that doesn’t make people feel insecure or inferior — build a culture where everyone feels equal and respected. It has to be inclusive and respectful so that all people feel equal within the organization.
If someone feels neglected or disrespected, they will not put in the effort to do high-quality work.
Read also: 21 Good Examples of Accountability
7. Focus on Developing Others
Mentoring others is an incredible way to build your reputation as a leader. A leader who invests in the success of those around her will reap the benefits. Many people lose sight of what they should be doing and instead focus on making themselves better.
It is a mistake and one you can easily correct. Instead of focusing on yourself, start focusing on those around you and develop them into leaders.
By investing in your team and developing those around you who have potential, you will gain more respect and credibility as a leader.
8. Act with Integrity
Promises are broken too often by managers, and employees are tired of hearing excuses. Your reputation is the foundation on which you build your career, and it has everything to do with the way others perceive you.
People will judge you by your words and actions. So, do what you say and say what you do. In other words, make sure your words and deeds match. If you can’t fulfill your commitment, you must let other people know immediately.
It’s not about what you say you are going to do. It’s about what you do. Keep your promises because, in the end, it’s all about trust.
9. Be a Role Model
Good examples of reputation management include being positive in any situation and influence others to admire your general attitude. The best thing a manager can do is to be a good role model. As a leader, take the lead and do what you ask your team to do.
You need to set an example and show that you are willing to work hard for your company to succeed. It doesn’t make sense for you to expect your team members to work hard when you do not want to do the same.
10. Keep Conversations Professional
Be mindful of the language that you use in your communications. Try to avoid using words with a negative connotation.
You should never discuss your employees with their co-workers, complain about work, say bad things about your company, or discuss inappropriate topics at the workplace.
If you are not mindful of your communication, you may be possibly seen as a liability for the company because you are not protecting the company’s reputation.
11. Be Available When Needed
Employees will not respect you if they can’t reach out to you. As a manager, you want to be approachable and reachable so you can communicate with employees.
Showing that you care about their needs will make them feel more appreciated and valued. If you don’t make yourself available, your staff will see you as out of touch, who doesn’t care about them and their needs.
12. Give Honest Feedback
Feedback is an integral part of workplace culture that managers should encourage. When employees don’t receive feedback on their work, they may become disengaged.
To create a healthy, collaborative environment, provide timely feedback and invite your employees to give feedback as well. Doing so will make the process equitable and transparent.
Also, ensure whatever issues that arise are dealt with immediately. You don’t want them to escalate in a way that can impact other employees.
13. Keep your Professional Boundaries Intact
As a manager, it is your responsibility to maintain appropriate professional boundaries with your employees. This is because you are in a position of authority, and it can be easy to take advantage of your position if you don’t check what you do.
The boundaries should be about building trust with your employees, showing empathy towards their problems, and listening to them whenever they need your help. Avoid gossiping or sharing confidential information, or using it against your employees.
14. Give Credit to Your Employee
Everyone wants to be recognized for doing a good job. When you compliment someone, the person feels happy, which motivates them to work harder.
It might sound like common sense, but many managers forget to thank their employees when they do something exceptional.
So, whenever your employees do something that impresses you, it is always polite to give credit where it is due. It establishes credibility with others.
And it demonstrates that you are not selfish or greedy for all the glory, but instead, care about others.
There are many ways you can manage your reputation at work. You can make sure you keep your professional boundaries intact, act with integrity, and more.
Managers need to be conscious of the behaviors that they model and the kind of language they use in the workplace. If you want protect your reputation and credibility, demonstrate that you are a considerate and approachable leader.
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