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Psychology | protecting your reputation

Protecting you image and reputation is important. Sometimes, if your reputation and image has been damaged, you need to repair it. Image is not only what you look like, but also what people think of you and how much they respect you.

The easiest way to protect your reputation is to have values. A set of rules to live your life by, that will determine your behaviour and which are seen by other people as positive. You need to value, not only yourself, but others. It is also important to value the society we live in and the communities we live in. This is why people frown upon people who break the simplest of society’s rules. If you drop litter in the park, you not only show others that you don’t value that open space, but you also send out a message that you don’t value the people who use the park either. We have to have a standard of behaviour to command the respect of other people.

Minor social faux pas involving social skills, such as talking too much, can have a negative impact on our reputation. Personal hygiene is important too. Our choice of clothes can alter the impression that we give people. Nurses often wear white uniforms to give an impression of cleanliness.

Many people are very image conscious and dress impeccably, have their cars cleaned regularly and have nice home and gardens. Is that enough? People not only judge what they see, they also judge what they hear. Nasty rumours can have a negative impact despite all the visual  imagery. People also make moral judgements. If you behaviour is questionable from a moral stand point, then that will have a negative impact.

People tend to think that actions speak louder than words. You actions and behaviour will speak volumes about you, far more than telling people how much you care. Although, telling people that you care does have a positive impact on your reputation and image. You do have to back up the words with action for them to be really affective.

You can have a different reputation and image in different parts of your life. You can be viewed quite differently at home and have a different image to the one that you have at work. The person your family sees might be softer and more vulnerable. The hard headed businessman on weekdays might become the loving husband and caring father at the weekends. We can change and adapt to our different roles in life.

You can change and adapt when you want to change your role in life. The place to start is with your image and behaviour. Often when beginning a new role, we start with a clean slate and perhaps have new colleagues who have yet to judge us. It’s a good idea in those circumstances to start as we mean to go on. That might mean good personal grooming and dress for the interview and then continuing with that after you’ve got the job. Paying attention to our appearance can help us change our role and get us a better job. It won’t improve your CV, we can’t change the past. We can however, write our CV in such a way as to make the mistakes of the past appear more acceptable.

What do you think? Is your reputation on the slide? Do you need to reinvent yourself? Please share your thoughts in the comments box. You can also subscribe and receive emails when there are new posts. You can follow me on Twitter and get links that way. Please share on Facebook too, I always need more readers!

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