Your attitude plays a vital role in your reputation and how others perceive you.
Your reputation is built on a never-ending series of choices that you make every day. And in today’s transparent and frenetic organizations, your choices are seen by more of your colleagues, and faster than ever before.
The work that I do with my leadership coaching clients often focuses on the power of choice. My clients like talking about the concept of choice as they aspire to be more focused in what they choose to do and how they choose to do it. Often, however, in situations where my clients do have a choice, they erroneously believe they have no choice.
The proliferation of professional transparency is creating new ways for individuals to develop an opinion about you. Information sharing and your reputation are now inextricably combined. You can share information about yourself in endless ways (e.g., Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, blogging). Most of these do not even require you to be physically present. Individuals that you have never met and may never meet can find information about you faster than ever.
Reputations back in the “old days”
While the importance of a good reputation is not new, the environment in which you are working to build a good reputation is. Twenty years ago, your reputation as a business professional was confined to the experiences of individuals with whom you interacted within your organization or shared experiences with at industry meetings.
Many of the Visibility Accelerators we have explored so far are activities that you do or behaviors that you demonstrate in order to raise your visibility. Therefore, these accelerators are defined as the behaviors that help you get seen. Our final Visibility Accelerator is focused on the activities and behaviors that help you become known. As a result, these activities and behaviors help build your reputation.
Your time is precious. Your days are already packed with meetings, conference calls, overdue deliverables, and unanticipated interruptions. Working to raise your visibility in your organization and industry requires that you focus your precious time on specific activities and behaviors that help you produce results. Anyone can engage in a bevy of activities that keep them busy, yet you cannot afford that luxury. The investment of time and energy you make in your efforts to raise your visibility must be productive. What is the difference between keeping busy and being productive?
Reputation is the intangible ways in which we connect with others. This is where activities and behaviors that help you be known in your organization and industry exist. I like to think of reputation as the echo you leave when you exit a room. Your reputation is what your colleagues say about you when you are not there. Perhaps your colleagues are commenting on a presentation you just gave, an interaction you just had, or your candidacy for a promotion. Do you know what they are saying about you? More importantly, what do you want your colleagues to be saying about you?
Now more than ever, being visible is critical to your long-term success in your fast-moving, ever-changing organization. When you think about being visible, consider that there are three levels of visibility: low, medium, and high. The two levels that typically impact your visibility are your personal visibility and the visibility of the work that you do.
The frequency and pace of change in your organization, the exponential growth of your professional transparency, your lack of energy to connect with others while employed (visibility), and your lack of energy regarding your performance assessment (value), all create professional risks for you. With increased turbulence in your organization resulting in roles, responsibilities, and relationships changing with great frequency, your ability to benefit from the development of organic relationships (ones that grow naturally over time) or purposeful relationships (ones that you proactively create with a goal in mind) is being seriously eroded.