Are You Managing Your Reputation Offline?

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Here I discussed the importance of managing your online reputation.  It is also important to manage your offline reputation.  How do you know if people have an accurate perception of you?  When was the last time you asked someone what they truly thought of you?

I used to work at a law firm in a department that was separated from the rest of the firm.  As a result, my coworkers and I had very little interaction with anyone outside of the department.  After working with one particular coworker for almost two years, she resigned and moved to another job.  After she left, people started to say how they really felt about the young lady.

“She was really bossy and talked too much.”

“I think we will be more efficient now.  She wasn’t much of a team player.”

“Everything was always about her.”

WHAT!!!  I was stunned.  I had no idea how strongly people felt about her.  When I started to ask questions, I learned that just because people were nice to the young lady, that didn’t mean that they liked her.  In their minds, they were being professionals.  People felt that she talked at them and not to them.  People also felt that she was selfish.  I’m sure that the young lady had no idea how she was perceived.  I’m also sure that if I were to tell her what her old coworkers had to say about her, she would be crushed.  I felt badly because I knew that she had good intentions and had no idea that she was rubbing people the wrong way.

People will always pass judgement on other people.  It is just nature.  Your job as  a person who wants to build and maintain your personal brand is to make sure the conclusions people are making about you are correct.  You have to actively make sure people are judging you correctly.  Here are my five tips to do just that:

  1. Treat people as you want to be treated.  People say this all the time but do they actually do it?  Small gestures leave big impressions.  Smile more.
  2. Don’t take my word for it… Or anybody else’s word for that matter.  Make your own decisions about people.  People will always volunteer their opinions about others.  But are they right?  Don’t assume they are.  This also goes back to number 1.  You would want someone to give you the benefit of the doubt right?
  3. Be proactive.  Show people the real you.  If people know who you really are, there won’t be room for any misconceptions.
  4. Always do your best.  This will change from day-to-day.  But if you do your best, and try to be your best self every day, you will have little regrets.
  5. Don’t be afraid to ask tough questions.  Find someone you trust and ask them the questions you don’t want the answers to.  This will help you make changes for the better.  Don’t be afraid of change.  Life is change.
Want to add any tips to my list?  Add them in the comments section.

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