Your Reputation Precedes You

I try not to prejudge people. I do my best not to listen to gossip about people and I really, really try not to form an opinion about someone based on somebody else’s experience with the person. 

I absolutely hate it when someone else forms an opinion about me based on something they “heard” from somebody else. They have never met me but they think they know me. I’d be willing to bet that you don’t like that either. 

Yet it happens everyday. It happens because like it or not, your reputation precedes you. 

Everything you do, everything you say, every commitment you keep and every one you don’t, they all count. They all matter! They all build up or tear down your reputation. 

That might not be fair, it might not be right, but that’s the way it is. That’s good news for some people and terrible news for others.

You have a credibility bank, it’s an incredibly valuable asset yet many people seldom even think about checking their bank statement. Every time you do what you say you will you make a small deposit into your credibility bank. Every time you fail to keep a commitment you make a very large withdrawal from your bank. That might not be fair either but that too is just how it goes.

When you gossip about people you’re actually making a withdrawal from your credibility bank. The surprising thing is that your hurting your reputation with the very person you’re gossiping with. Always keep this interesting fact in mind: the person you’re gossiping with today will likely be gossiping about you tomorrow. 

When your reputation includes being a gossip then your credibility bank takes a big hit. 

Sometimes we hate saying no so much that we say yes to doing something that we know darn well we either won’t or can’t do. That hurts your credibility. You can have no finer reputation than that of a person whose word is known as gold. When you say you’re going to do something then do it or say no right up front. A courageous no will beat a meek and insincere yes every time.

You can’t control whether or not people talk about you behind your back. You also can’t control what they say so don’t waste a lot of time worrying about it. Instead work to build a strong reputation and know that your efforts will result in a credibility bank loaded with positive examples of you being a person known as a trusted resource who can be counted on no matter what! 

That’s the kind of reputation that you want to precede you! 

By Steve Keating