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    5 Rules of Professional Reputation Management for individuals




    “Our reputation is more important than the last hundred million dollars.” — Rupert Murdoch

    Maintaining a positive reputation is an essential career management skill. Whether you are just starting in your career or have been working for years, following these five rules will help you protect and build a solid personal and professional reputation:

      1. Be honest & respectful
      2. Be reliable
      3. Be punctual
      4. Be Accountable
      5. Be Assertive

      In this blog, we discuss how following these rules will help you maintain positive relationships with friends, colleagues, clients and coworkers.

    “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.” — Warren Buffett

    Why is personal and professional reputation important?

    A reputation is how individuals are perceived by others over time, as they perform their duties with competence, are helpful toward coworkers, and wield an overall positive influence within the workplace.

    A positive offline and online image is essential to your personal and professional life. A positive reputation will open up new opportunities, new responsibilities or a promotion. In addition, a positive reputation can make the difference between securing that new job or getting screened out.

    It’s simple, a positive offline and online reputation matters.

    The benefits of successful professional reputation management: 

    • Attract opportunities,
    • Earn more money, perks, benefits
    • Receive promotions
    • Maintain customer loyalty
    • Command respect within your profession

    Reputation determines the level of credibility one has within their company, field and industry. It is a measure of influence and competence. Professionals enjoying good reputations get preferred opportunities and often assume senior leadership positions over time.

    You get a reputation for stability if you are stable for years.” – Mark Zuckerberg


    What is Professional Reputation management?

    Reputation management works to develop, strengthen and maintain an image of professionalism in the workplace. From interpersonal relations, perceptions, integrity, and in reality, reputation management is a prerequisite to long-term career success.

    What is the purpose of online reputation management?

    Online reputation management is the process wherein business professionals monitor and identify how they are perceived by clients, coworkers, and stakeholders online. The process involves managing your professional social media accounts and ensuring your social media sites remain professional, secure and projecting the right image.

    Here are some basic guidelines to help you maintain a positive online reputation:

      1. Create a positive & Constructive online media presence
      2. Secure privacy & security settings
      3. Clean up family social media platforms
      4. Remove questionable or inappropriate content (pictures, posts)
      5. Avoid discussing sensitive topics on your professional platforms. (religion/politics)
      6. Utilize search engine optimization software (to showcase online content)
      7. Keep your private life and professional life separate

    Managing your online reputation and proactively protecting your online image and social media presence is critical. Many employers view personal social media as part of their standard screening process, and they may do this at any time.

    5 Rules of Personal and Professional Reputation Management

    I) Be Honest & Respectful

    Use your influence to promote and treat people with respect in every professional venue. When people feel valued and respected, this promotes a positive work culture in which employees are satisfied, committed, engaged, and motivated to do their jobs well. One of the pillars of respect is the need to accept coworkers’ views, ideas, and cultural backgrounds. Acceptance in the workplace means having a professional level of mutual respect and cultural tolerance. In contrast, individuals who are not respectful of coworkers pose a legitimate threat to the health of employees and the organization’s success.

    Manage your behavior using some of the following tips:

    • Greet people by using their first name and smile
    • Keep conversations professional and avoid sensitive topics (ie: money, politics, religions)
    • Make eye contact when engaging people
    • Do not dismiss people’s suggestions or ideas
    • Express gratitude when people do good work or favors
    • Listen more and speak less when people approach you
    • Ask questions to clarify things you do not understand
    • Take brief notes and follow up when employees or peers make requests
    • Lead by example and be consistent in your demeanor 

    A respectful and accepting work environment reduces workplace stress, problems, and inter-relational conflicts. When people respect each other, communication and working relationships improve. Further, respect promotes a professional and positive business culture, which increases employee motivation, and commitment. In general, being respectful helps develop productive relationships amongst colleagues offline and is an excellent way to maintain a positive image online. 

    II) Be Reliable

    Reliable individuals make and maintain friendships and business relationships, as well as receive more work opportunities, autonomy, and responsibility than unreliable people. Reliable employees are punctual, produce consistently high-quality work, and comply with business objectives, policies, practices, and strategies. They make commitments, deliver them on schedule, and follow up when required. In addition, reliable professionals:

      1. Keep promises
      2. Arrive on time
      3. Be organized
      4. Meet deadlines
      5. Follow up (customers, coworkers, peers)
      6. Be Consistent

    Being reliable is arguably the most valuable trait a professional can have because it means that they are trustworthy, work hard and do what they say they will do. Reliability or dependability is an excellent work trait and is part of personal reputation management.

    III) Be Punctual

    Being punctual demonstrates a level of respect for your organization and coworkers. Further, it communicates respect for deadlines, (everyone’s) time is important, and you take your work seriously. When someone is punctual, it doesn’t just mean they’re able to get places on time.

    Five reasons why punctuality is a crucial component of reputation management:

    • Punctuality shows you are organized.
    • Punctuality adds to your credibility
    • Punctuality enhances your company and personal reputation
    • Punctuality demonstrates attention to detail.
    • Punctuality shows that you respect your coworkers.

    Remember: punctuality is synonymous with professionalism and is vital to building and maintaining a positive reputation.

    IV) Be Accountable

    Accountability is about delivering on a commitment. It means taking responsibility for the result, as well as the process. In the workplace, accountability is essential to the quality of work employees are tasked with.

    It’s also key to building good working relationships between employees and management.

    Accountable professionals are conscientious, diligent, and thorough in their work. They tend to be detail-oriented and have strong time management skills. Moreover, when people are accountable for their actions, they communicate to managers and clients in a way that shows they take their work seriously.

    Vacillating will lead to a bad reputation.

    V) Be Assertive

    An Assertive professional knows how to communicate what they want clearly and respectfully. It means they are not afraid of expressing their opinions openly, authentically, and professionally.

    When you effectively assert yourself, you are neither aggressive nor passive; instead, you are honest and direct in sharing your views.

    Assertive professionals can express themselves without disrespecting or undermining coworkers and peers. Assertiveness is a healthy, empowering behavior used to communicate professionally. 

    Assertiveness means being decisive.

    In the workplace, decisiveness is vital for effectively executing plans and achieving goals. Decisive professionals are confident decision-makers. They make up their minds quickly, firmly, and with confidence.

    Decisive people are essential in organizations as they can balance the costs of continuing to gather information and deliberately delay a decision versus the cost of making poor choices. Thus, being decisive adds to your personal brand. 

    Assertive professionals know the importance of saying “No.”

    Saying “no” allows you to say yes to priorities. When you show colleagues that you value your work, and, the time they will respect you for it. Saying “no” creates healthy boundaries.

    Assertiveness is essential to offline and online relationship management, demonstrating strength, confidence, and leadership. 

    “A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person. You earn reputation by trying to do hard things well.” — Jeff Bezos

    What is an online reputation management company?

    Online reputation management involves creating the best possible online image. These services ensure that positive news and reviews are the first things customers view when they google your linkedin profile or your business website. 

    What are professional or Personal reputation management companies?

    These companies help you to take charge of your reputation. For example, a personal reputation management company will assess and professionalize your entire online profile. And they inform you of how people view your brand, image, or business.

    How you present yourself online and offline will ensure that your reputation remains strong no matter what challenges confront you.

    Now that you know the five rules of professional reputation management, it’s time to put them into practice. Remember, your online and offline behavior reflects on your professionalism and can either help or hurt your career. So stay mindful of how you represent yourself, and remember to be respectful, reliable, punctual, communicative, and assertive in your dealings. By following these simple tips, you can protect and build a solid professional reputation that will serve you well throughout your career.

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