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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

How to Create a Good Reputation

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How to Create a Good Reputation

[The Distance from Reputation to Character]

IT NEVER CEASES TO AMAZE ME how maligned some people are in the eyes of some. It is as if some people could do anything to the contrary and still be seen a certain, negative way. It must be so frustrating for a person to find they have a reputation that they can't shake.
To illustrate the point, say two people have known each other for years; they grew up together. One grew up holding the perception that the other was 'tight-fisted' with money. Now the perception is a reality for them, even though there's not been much to support this perception. Every now and then they still refer and comment about this person's 'apparent' unreasonable frugality. The person thought to be overly frugal or miserly is not that impressed that one story or event of frugality meant this reputation 'stuck' for what seems a lifetime. The reality for this situation from others' viewpoints is actually contrary; this person is actually nothing like that-in fact, they are perhaps, at times, a little wasteful with money, and they are anything but selfish with their money, sharing without hesitation.
This is the difference at times between our real character and the less reliable reality of a reputation. People who seem intent on keeping negative reputations alive are usually the ones who engage in gossip and seem to love fiction in their own lives-especially if it is at the expense of someone else. This is obviously very damaging for relationships; they can never mature in love in this sort of environment.
Character is a far more reliable gauge of a person; it is the truth about us. It's how you'd expect that person to respond and how they will 95 percent of the time. Character and decision-making have an interdependent relationship with virtue. The more we actually decide to be good and practice good virtue, like being kind and compassionate, the more our character is reinforced, within us and to those external to us, in these kind and compassionate ways. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy to act a certain way, for instance, when we exercise self-control through a decision, we strengthen our character around the virtue of self-control.
Abraham Lincoln once said, 'Character is like a tree and reputation like its shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.' Another, Thomas Paine said, 'Reputation is what men and women think of us; character is what God and angels know of us.' Yet another, Elbert Hubbard said, 'Many a man's reputation would not know his character if they met on the street.'
Whether compared as a shadow to a tree, or what humans know of us as compared with God, it seems these quotes reinforce the distance often between reputation and the truth of our character.
Where does this leave us in the quest for a good reputation? It seems all we can really do is decide to be good, reliable, and faithful, and then let the reputations form as they will, hoping that our true character will actually be seen for what it is.
But, know this: If you get a negative reputation and people are not keen to shift their perception of you even with evidence that you've changed to the contrary, know that they are probably malicious at heart and don't fret; heaven and earth won't shake the untruth out of them.
The good news of course is people with a commitment to living in the reality of truth will notice your changes for the good and your reputation will change for the better.
Decide for the good, and be consistent, focusing more on your character than your reputation.
© Steve J. Wickham, 2007. Steve Wickham is a safety and health professional (BSc) and a qualified Christian minister (GradDipDiv). He is also has training and leadership Diplomas. His passion in vocation is facilitation and coaching; encouraging people to soar to a higher value of their potential. Steve's interest in psychology is matched by years of experience in the psychology of safety in workplaces. Steve's key passion is work / life balance and re-creating value for living, and an exploration of the person within us. An advocate for a fair and just life, Steve implements wisdom strategies to his life through a passion for Proverbial wisdom. His highest goal is doing God's will, in enhancing his life, and the lives of others. Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Steve_Wickham Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/901939

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