29 Apr PR: What Does Your Reputation Rest On?
Mike Clayton, author of Smart to Wise, looks at how his framework of seven pillars of wisdom also acts as the basis for your reputation – both professionally and privately.
Reputations are very much subject to a simple rule: “Slowly made: quickly lost”
So the three elements of reputation management are therefore reputation building, reputation protection and reputation recovery. Think of a building – you need to build it, maintain it and, if it gets damaged, repair it. In all three cases, there are seven pillars to attend to:
You need to know who you are and what you stand for, and communicate it with absolute consistence. That is not to say you must not evolve over time: but your trajectory must be one of total integrity.
How you see the world and interpret the evidence can raise your reputation rapidly. It can also destroy it when, as a perceived expert, you miss the obvious.
The world changes and every aspect of it evolves. So too should you. It you do not constantly invest in yourself and your reputation, adapting to changes and learning new things, your reputation will slide downwards.
People assume that what they see is all that there is. So your conduct (as the most visible aspect of you) will dictate your reputation…
… so choose wisely. Good conduct is a choice, but there are many more judgements to make and these will inform others’ assessment of you. Making the hard choice is not always easy – but it will win you a firmer reputation.
How you treat people will convey the extent to which you care and have integrity. Are you open, honest and direct? Do you treat people equitably – according to their needs? Or do you offer favouritism and take easy options? Making the hard choice is just the first step – taking that hard path is vital too.
When you speak, do people listen? The voice of authority is calm, measured, and above all, informed. There is no short cut to authority and, if you think you have found one, you are wrong. It will be a deceptive turn that will surely lose you your reputation.
Mike Clayton is an author and business speaker. His latest book, Smart to Wise, is out in June 2012. Join the conversation on LinkedIn and read the more articles on the Smart to Wise website. For more wisdom, follow Smart to Wise on Twitter, @Smart2Wise.