Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Winning friends and influencing people, in all the right ways....

Many thanks to AccuQuote VP of marketing and business development Sean Cheyney and the publishers of iMediaConnection.com for the recent post entitled "5 ways to ruin your industry reputation." In the piece, Sean uses his talking points to share colorful and insightful thoughts on some of the things people really do every day which can work against them big time. Personally, the behaviours Sean describes really drive me crazy, and I know we've all experienced our share of them first-hand -- probably by the time we entered the first grade. On some level, I am thankful for all the hatred, conflict and negativity I've encountered in the world, because it has made me realize how very much I care about diplomacy, peace and optimism. To me, conducting myself through positive, sincere, well-meaning behaviours is of the utmost importance in managing my reputation... and my overall success in life. In this spirit, I'm spinning Sean's points to provide three reputation-savers likely to keep each of us on firm ground, both professionally and socially.


. Reputation Saver #1: Play fairly

Sean's first "killer" is competition-bashing, and we all know that slinging mud gets everyone dirty, especially the slinger. In terms of your reputation, as Sean points out, the best bet is to focus on making yourself look good on your own merits, not by trying to discredit someone else.

. Reputation Saver #2: Keep your promises

We have a friend in town who tells his clients up-front that he always over-promises and under-delivers. While that might seem to be a reputation-killer, this is a very talented craftsman who actually does come through consistently, and he doesn't take himself too seriously. For him, the equation actually adds up to him being very successful. It's the people who don't follow through on their promises who drive would-be customers away.

. Reputation Saver #3: Be respectful, and respectable

I know a man who made every deal in his career based on his firm belief that he was smarter than the people he was dealing with. If only he had built his plans on honesty, integrity and fairness, and kept them simple, I believe that his successes would have grown exponentially.

When discussing our reputations, we are inherently referring to those who form opinions on us. To say the least, trying to manage the notions of others can be a slippery slope -- or at worst, a flat-out impossible proposition. Nonetheless, generally speaking, our reputations stand to benefit the most if we are consistently respectful to all others, and if we only say, write or do things that we would say, write or do in the presence of our bosses, mentors or heroes.