Your reputation in your professional and personal life is invaluable. It’s one of the most important assets that you have. As you navigate your way through the working world, you’ll find that your reputation precedes you.
If you are always demanding, hard to work with, and constantly breaking your promises, you’ll find that you are always passed over for promotions and other deals. Alternatively, when you have a history of being honest, trustworthy, and reliable, you’ll find that people will always want to work with you and help you succeed in life.
The Dangers of Over-Committing
One of the most effective ways to build a strong reputation is to stick to your promises. Only make a promise that you know you can keep. People with the best reputations and other desirable assets often under-sell themselves so that they can over-deliver and wow people with their skills and dedication. Moreover making a habit out of showcasing these assets will make you more attractive to those that you work with since they know that you word is bond.
In the business world, it isn’t easy to come back after breaking your promises. We all take on more than we can handle at times, but the best way to avoid this is to carefully evaluate each situation before ever agreeing to something. Not every deal will be beneficial, so it’s best to know when to walk away completely.
You don’t want to find yourself in a situation where you’ve agreed to a deal, only to decide that you don’t want to participate a few weeks later. Everything you do and say in business interactions like these will be evaluated and judged instantly. Likewise, your industry is likely smaller than you think, so word always gets around. If something you say or do is misconstrued as being fake or dishonest, even if you had good intentions in the beginning, you’ll find that your word is tarnished.
Developing Discernment and Similar Assets
Discernment will allow you to exercise caution before getting involved in bad deals. To avoid having to break your word later on, be sure to ask as many questions as you need to before making a decision or agreeing to anything. While some people are afraid that asking questions will make them seem incompetent, the opposite is actually true. By finding out all the pertinent information, you’ll be well informed and appear to be an intelligent colleague.
Knowing all the information is the best way for you to make a well-informed decision. Don’t let the pressure trick you into thinking you have to give a “yes” or “no” on a whim without careful consideration. While taking the time to process everything may cost you some “last minute” deals, this is for the best. Oftentimes, anyone that is trying to get you to make an immediate decision is not looking out for your best interest.
Remember that you don’t really get a second chance to establish your reputation. Make every effort to ensure that you aren’t over-committing to something or that you aren’t giving your word to a project or deal you don’t believe in. There will always be other opportunities in the future, but you’ll likely be overlooked if you never learn how to keep your word.
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