Media Coach Allison Kluger is a former New York City TV executive who teaches reputation management at Stanford University's Graduate School of Business. Allison reveals her Top 5 Reputation Management Advice:
1. Your online reputation needs to be spotless. Clean up old posts and take down pictures that misrepresent you and show you in compromising positions. There is something called first impression and negative impression bias. People will judge you negatively if they see something they don't like as a first impression you put out about yourself.
2. Never burn bridges. Whenever you work in a place within a team or even as a leader or a manager, you will come across someone you don't get along with. Always be professional and civil. If you don't like that person, odds are there are many other people who feel the same. That person will burn his/her own bridges. Never gossip or spend time you can be working discussing someone else's problems. Focus on your own work and success and your will be noticed and recognized for your own stellar reputation.
3. First impressions matter when forming personal reputation. You can only create a first impression once. So make it count. Shake a hand with a firm grasp. Make strong eye contact. Try and be helpful, crack a joke, find common ground, make a lasting impression, make an introduction. If you leave a lingering, positive first impression on a first meeting, it can lead you to a job interview, an investor meeting, a new friendship, or a referral. I have had more people than not remind me of the first time they met me and how I made them feel good in some way.
4. The most important characteristics of building a strong personal reputation are being authentic, empathetic, committed and trustworthy. Even if a mistake is made in your business, or even in a personal matter, the best way to deal with any situation is to be accountable, empathetic and committed to finding a solution. People, in general just want to feel understood, acknowledged and appreciated. If you can authentically provide these services, you will always have a golden reputation.
5. A reputation is fluid in your career. There will be times you might have to defend it, rebuild, pivot, sustain. The good news is that it is in your control. By knowing that "It's not what happens, it's how you choose to deal with it," you can successfully control the impression you put out in meetings, online, in presentations, as a CEO, or a team leader. Reputation Management involves a healthy dose of strategic communication skills as you want to be aware of other's feelings and needs and expectations and where your role in your work and leadership dynamic fits in. You need a healthy dose of emotional intelligence to anticipate how your actions and words can impact others. Good leaders cannot act in a vacuum. They must be aware of how they are viewed and want to be viewed. To maintain a great reputation, the goal is to have the reputation you think you have MATCH the reputation you actually have.