WHY REPUTATION MATTERS

by helen on May 12, 2011

The media have been talking a lot about reputation recently. Some of the stories which come to mind include the super-injunctions “scandal”, the North Yorkshire Police Authority’s case against its Chief Constable, who was accused of nepotism, and of course, the damage to the Lib Dems reputation caused by their role in the coalition Government and their apparent abandonment of manifesto promises.

These are all high profile examples of how the actions of individuals and organisations can damage their reputations. And as a result of what the media – and perhaps your family, friends and colleagues – have said about these stories, what is your opinion of the people concerned? Has it changed?

Reputation matters. It matters because unless I or you have first-hand experience of an individual or organisation, what other people say about them is the way we form opinions on which we base our behaviour.

A reputation cannot be bought. Nor can it be “engineered”. A reputation is the result of what you say, what you do, and what other people say about you.

The only way to manage it is to engage with the people who matter to you, to raise awareness of what you say and do. (And of course, make sure that what you say or do is going to result in the sort of reputation that you want!).

How do you engage with the people who matter to you to manage your reputation? Are you listening to what people are saying about you? What opinions are people forming about you based on what is being said?

Need help with the answers? I’m listening and happy to help :)

P.S. How many women do you know who haven’t changed their surname after they got married – because they have a professional reputation that they don’t want to lose? How many companies do you know who have kept their name/logo because they think changing it will affect their reputation? Are they right to worry? What do you think?

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