Nothing can make or break a career like a professional reputation. Earn rave reviews from your colleagues and enjoy career success. Earn their scorn, and watch your opportunities evaporate. There’s no denying it, your professional reputation plays a powerful role in promotion opportunities and career success.
If you’re starting out in a career, or, if you’ve made past mistakes, you can build a better reputation. Your professional reputation is based on what people say about you when you’re not within earshot. How can you know what your peers are talking about so that you can make sure it’s positive? A good clue is found in the definition of, “reputation.” The merriam-webster.com dictionary definition of reputation includes, “overall quality or character…”, and, “recognition by other people of some characteristic or ability.”
Building on your personal character and ability keeps things positive and pumps up your professional reputation. I’ve spent a decade as a professional speaker, and I’ve met thousands of people. Audience members across the country have shared their horror and success stories with me. I’ve used the experience of my audience members, and some of my personal experience, and compiled a list for you to focus on to pump up your professional reputation.
Here are Ten Things You Want Co-Workers to Say Behind Your Back:
1. You’re an excellent communicator. American journalist Sydney J. Harris said, “The two words, information and communication are often used interchangeably, but they signify quite different things. Information is giving out; communication is getting through.”
2. You’re respectful of time. Karen Burns, author of The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl says in her blog post – Better Never Than Late, “News flash for the time-impaired: Chronic tardiness does not make you seem charming. It makes you look bad.”
3. You’re responsive. Email Overload Guru, Itzy Sabo, asks, “If people’s opinion of you were based solely on your email responsiveness, can you imagine what they would think of you?” If we based our opinion on your returned phone calls would we be impressed?
4. You’re diplomatic. An excerpt from, The Working Woman’s Rant & Rave Guidebook says, “Being diplomatic means that you use tact and finesse in order to obtain mutually beneficial solutions to common challenges.”
5. You solve problems. Robin Roberts writes in her book, From the Heart, “There is nothing more empowering than focusing on the solution instead of the problem.”
6. You’re principled. J.E. Miller observed, “The only thing that walks back from the tomb with the mourners and refuses to be buried is the character of a man. This is true. What a man is survives him. It can never be buried.”
7. You’re a lifelong learner. “Learning and growing is the only way that you can develop into the person that you have the potential to become;” says Jackie Gingrich Cushman in 5 Principles for a Successful Life.
8. You maintain balance between work and family. Mitch Albom writes in, Tuesdays With Morrie, “The fact is, there is no foundation, no secure ground, upon which people stand today if it isn’t the family. It’s become quite clear to me… If you don’t have the support and love and caring and concern that you get from a family, you don’t have much at all. Love is so supremely important.”
9. You’re visionary. You imagine what can be, you create a plan, and then, you share your goal with such passion that others want to be a part of it.
10. You bring out the best in people. In The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, John C. Maxwell says, “When you add value to people, you lift them up, help them advance, make them a part of something bigger than themselves, and assist them in becoming who they were made to be.”
Karen Burns, Working Girl
Email Overload Guru, Itzy Sabo
The Working Woman’s Rant & Rave Guidebook
From the Heart by Robin Roberts
The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John Maxwell
Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom
5 Principles for a Successful Life by Jackie Gingrich Cushman and Newt Gingrich