It’s interesting the think about the power of reputational management in business, because while we may work for or operate brands, we also, by virtue of curating a reputation, develop our own interpersonal brands, too.
For this reason, learning how to properly invest in ourself as if we were the main asset we have control of (and we are), can pay dividends as your career moves on. For instance, learning to stand up straight, to asset yourself in a meeting, to stand focused and confident, to keep eye contact, to deliver on time, and of course, to underpromise and overdeliver on a project, all of this can make a massive difference in how you’re perceived and who wishes to work with you.
While this might not have specific benefits, over time, the greater linear trend of having more doors opened for you will no doubt return benefits. That said, it’s also important to consider the worth involved in standing up for your professional image. Sometimes, this can take a knock, perhaps for reasons out of your control. Here’s how to defend it:
Legal defense is sometimes the necessary prerequisite to clearing false allegations or resolving a dispute that may have become toxic to deal with. For some, this may involve personal injury lawyers or criminal defense attorneys, in other cases, suing for reputational damages or for lost income can also be important. While a lawsuit may not be the perfect resolution to restore a reputational knock, the verdict can certainly be a fantastic way to begin that, not to mention seeking justice for a wrong committed, which is more valuable than any restorable reputational hit.
It’s essential to keep consistent in your professional image. Without that, then it’s easy to take on a reputation as someone who doubles back on their word. For this reason, keeping your promises close to heart, finishing projects, fully documenting everything you do and how you fulfill contacts as well as backing up your communications with clients and project managers is essential. This way, you always have something to fall back on should a problem occur, and you can always prove your willing track record as a worthwhile professional.
Keep Professional & Disciplined
It’s very important to keep disciplined and professional even during disputes. This means doing all you can to resist the urge to ‘take someone down a few pegs,’ to insult, or to escalate a conflict when it can be resolved via forthright communication. For instance, if an employer seems to place unfair criticisms and expectations in your lap, calmly explaining how this goes against your contract can help you define yourself as someone willing to respectfully dig into the specifics of the matter rather than engaging in hyperbole. This will also reflect in your digital communications, as taking out any chance of being misread is key.
With this advice, you’re sure to stand up for your professional image in the best sense. After all, it’s one of the most worthwhile assets you have as a personal brand.