Having a good attitude, demonstrating good behaviors, and acting with integrity are only part of the reputation equation. In today’s fast-paced organizations, it’s almost assumed that your work production is good. Even colleagues who demonstrate a good attitude and good behaviors may find themselves in job jeopardy if they’re not producing good work.
Attitude reflects the intangible choices that you make regarding people and situations. Behavior reflects the tangible choices you make which influence your reputation.
Behavior is easier to define than attitude, since we’re able to see behavior more readily. While you can see some aspects of attitude (i.e., a smile on an optimistic colleague), behavior is where the “rubber hits the road.”
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.