Safeguarding Your Reputation

By Margaret Orem On February 4th, 2010 in business impact, employment, social commerce, social media, social networks, social stuff /

Safeguarding Your Reputation

As you know reputations can be created or destroyed through social media. Perceptions about you can be changed in an instant by those who observe what you post and what is posted about you or about others and entities to whom and to which you are associated. Some people will paint negative pictures with a broad brush when they learn of illegal business practices of a company and will shy away from anyone associated with that company, whether that individual was guilty of those practices or not.

Over the course of a few years, we have seen reputations tarnished by illegal corporate dealings, assumed greed, assumed guilt, inaccurate facts outlined by politicians or the media, irresponsible actions by those in power or who have had a certain degree of prestige and respect afforded to them before the actions, statements which had to be recanted or “clarified,” and the list goes on. The power of the written word memorializes these circumstances. You may read a “bad report” and assume it is factual unless you do further research and discover that it was retracted.

You may assume that that negative reporting will never affect you. Do you know the actions of everyone who shares your name? Even those who share your name can affect you depending upon their actions, etc.  Have  you searched your name thoroughly looking for bad news? Have you ever sent an email and regretted its content or wish you could have tweaked it? Have you ever sent an email to one person in error when it should not have gone to him or her but to an entirely different person? Have you ever posted something and received a call that someone was offended by what you posted–perhaps you posted a restaurant review that wasn’t stellar, or an experience on a particular trip, etc. ? 

Everything you post is public, every group you join is public (whether the group claims confidentiality or not–the members of the group know you are a member), most every email you send or receive can be made public if law enforcement becomes involved, your movements on the internet are tracked by cookies and if you are on racy sites or violent sites that you would not want a child to be on, you could be tracked again by law enforcement.

If you want to safeguard your positive reputation, you can take a number of steps on a consistent basis to accomplish that goal.

  1. Keep your word and your commitments.
  2. Associate with those individuals and sites which have high ethical standards.
  3. Follow the requirements of the social media sites.
  4. Temper your postings with respect and well-intentions.
  5. Do not evil-speak. That is, unless you have a legally binding obligation to do so, do not speak negatively about others and keep your negative thoughts unspoken.
  6. Forgive people who have offended you or for whom you hold a grudge. You will be surprised how a simple act of forgiveness will lighten your load and permit you to treat everyone with respect and kindness.
  7. Accept recommendations if a quid pro quo is not expected.  Provide one when you truly believe it is warranted.
  8. Go the extra step to help someone who needs that help.
  9. Walk in love.
  10. Conduct yourself as you would want others to conduct themselves.

You will find that you will attract good people to you and that you will rarely have to apologize for your words or your actions.  Best of all, you will be aware of how your words and actions may be perceived and you will check yourself in the beginning. Your reputation should be a strong and accurate reflection of you!

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One Response to “Safeguarding Your Reputation”

  1. Jonathan Saint-John Says: February 4th, 2010 at 4:12 pm

    Margaret,

    Good post and perfect reminder. You should also be very cautious if your job hunting, perspective employers are using social media as a sort of reference and character check. Therefore, your activity has become your “brand.”

    Nevertheless, I do think that social media is a great and fun way to obtain data.

    Jonathan

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