Why Reputation Is Important
Perception = Reality
It’s simple, really: the way others read you determines who you are. Personality translates to others’ perception of you, which in theory, becomes your reputation. As you walk into a meeting with a new client, or approach your team about implementing a plan, the way you speak and act during these moments determines what others think of you. It’s important to realize that what others think and know about you is ultimately true. You may think that you are a cool, calm, and collected boss, but if you are not giving that impression, then that is not how you are perceived, and thus not who you are. Be aware of how every action you take affects your reputation, because others notice!
When does your reputation come into play?
Your reputation ultimately determines your future opportunities. This is because others’ perception of you precedes you before you even enter the room. You may not even be given an opportunity if your reputation has negative connotations. On the other hand, a great reputation may lead to opportunities presenting themselves when you didn’t even expect them. You should always put your strengths and values first, especially in initial meetings, in order to increase the likelihood of future endeavors being offered to you.
A few specific circumstances in which reputation holds extreme value include:
- A boss choosing whether or not you will join a specific team
- A boss determining who is eligible for promotions, bonuses, and upcoming assignments
- A boss, co-worker, or other peer deciding who to ask to accompany them to lunch or for a post-work beverage where business is discussed
How can you make sure you are leveraging your reputation?
Remember, you are always networking. Don’t assume that any act or statement is going to go unnoticed, and keep your best qualities radiating even in social situations you may think don’t apply. Maintaining a positive reputation that aligns with who you are is critical to your career.
In the case of clients, you will want them to leave every meeting with a good impression to ensure future business success. If an experience went extremely well, the client is going to hold this in their memory and use it to make decisions about doing future business with you. Though it’s vital to acknowledge that the same thing will occur if that experience was negative.
At the end of the day, it’s important to match your internal perception of yourself with the external. You know how you want to be viewed, so do your best to consistently cast that image to others. Your intentions behind any action you make should match the results of what actually occurs. Having an awareness of how others perceive you is key to being a successful business person, and also a successful leader. After all, your reputation is how the world views you.