Monday, September 23, 2013

Reputation - Do you know yours?

By definition reputation is a noun.   The beliefs or opinions that are generally held about someone or something.

Reputation can make or break career growth.   When candidates are up for promotion or interviewing for a new role the reputation they have is a factor in whether they are selected. 

When talking about reputation in the work place it is usually based on qualities like honesty, respectfulness, effectiveness, even tempered, fairness, solidarity, helpfulness and being collaborative.  A long list of behavior qualities that can’t be measured with financial metrics but they are very important.

Much of the time when we do reference checks or hiring managers call a colleague to inquire whether a candidate might be a fit for a role, it is these behavior qualities that are discussed. 

I have had an employer not move forward with a candidate because they were told a leader was “not respectful but condescending to their team”.  I had one executive level candidate find out a former colleague was saying bad things about her in the industry and the candidate felt that it may be the reason that she was not getting selected for new opportunities.  In the candidate’s opinion the feedback was coming from jealousy and not valid or factual.  The subject of reputation can be based on office drama and politics, it is opinion and it can be unfair.  So what do we do?  Not everyone we work with is going to like us and we can’t kill ourselves trying….that would not be effective.

The people I have seen with excellent reputations stay focused on a couple of simple things.  They focus on delivering the quantifiable objectives of the job.  They work to achieve those objectives in an honest and respectful manner.  There are and should be disagreements at work.  When you disagree stay focused on working toward the solution vs. winning your point of view.  Stay calm and professional.  If things get heated, then take a break and regroup at a later time.  

What do you think your reputation is at your company?  Have you ever been asked to weigh in on someone else’s reputation? 

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