Behavior and Your Reputation

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.”

Actions speaks louder than words

Behavioral psychologists suggest that if you want to know what a person is thinking, watch their behavior. Dr. Carl Jung, a noted psychologist, is quoted as saying, “You are what you do, not what you say you will do.” More colloquially, you are familiar with the idioms, “Actions speaks louder than words.” Your daughter can promise you “six ways to sundown” that she will be home by 11:00 pm. Did she get home by 11:00 pm or did she provide you a litany of reasons as to why she was delayed? Did her actions speak louder than her words?

Every day you make behavioral choices that help or hurt your reputation. Behavior is what people hear or see when interacting with you and is comprised of what you say and what you do.

When “what you say” and “what you do” intersect

While “what you say” and “what you do” are independently important, how these activities relate to one another cannot be overstated. At the intersection between what you say and what you do is integrity, the most important characteristic of a good reputation.

Numerous books and articles have been written focusing on the importance of integrity. College courses offer analyses of integrity, and professors integrate examples from the past, as well as the present. The idea of integrity as the foundation to a good reputation is an idea as old as reputation itself.

In the Raise Your Visibility & Value model, when you operate with integrity you give your reputation a strong foundation upon which to build. However you define it, integrity exists when “what you say” and “what you do” are aligned.

When “what you say” and “what you do” are not aligned, your ability to operate with integrity comes under attack. It becomes impossible to build a good reputation. Your colleagues see your behavior as scattershot. You are “all over the place,” behaving inconsistently and without integrity. Your hope for a good reputation goes away.

When “what you say” and “what you do” are aligned, your colleagues will see you as a person who operates with integrity. Your colleagues will think or say, “She does what she says she will do.” Your integrity is aligned and it acts as a strong foundation for a good reputation.

Image by Chetan Dhongade from Pixabay

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