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Good or bad, your reputation will affect how others see you, boosting or undermining your endeavors. When it comes to HR leaders, a strong reputation will make their job a lot easier. You can expect to lead a group of people more effectively if your reputation as a leader is doing part of the work.

As Charles Maurice de Talleyrand, a French politician and diplomat, once put it, “The reputation of a man is like his shadow, gigantic when it precedes him, and pigmy in its proportions when it follows.” However, you can’t expect people to just hand you respect and a great reputation. These are things that you need to earn for yourself.

Those who are just starting their careers or who are at a junior level may lack confidence and don’t have any reputation to speak of. But as they build experience, both courage and reputation will follow. It is up to you as a leader to build yourself from the inside out. As you advance, you should come to realize that true leaders will work to find solutions to problems.

HR leaders need to be able to tell the truth, but they must do so diplomatically. Otherwise, they risk developing a reputation as bullies. It is important to have the courage to give your colleagues the information they need, even if they don’t want to hear it. It is equally as important to maintain a good reputation while doing it.

How Do You Build a Good Reputation?

Dr. Wayne Dyer, famed self-help author and motivational speaker, was famous for saying that “Your reputation is in the hands of others. That’s what the reputation is. You can’t control that. The only thing you can control is your character.” While it’s true that you should focus on your strength of character to build your reputation, there are other things that you can do to guide it on the right path.

A strong reputation starts with a good first impression. This implies direct eye contact and a firm handshake. It also means staying true to your values and convictions and communicating effectively. Keep an open mind, be flexible to changing situations, and be willing to give and receive in equal measure.

Be aware of the unconscious elements that define your personality as a leader as these will require more effort to address. For example, you may be a hard worker and a great administrator but overly negative and pessimistic at a subconscious level. People may be skeptical about working with you in this scenario, which will hurt your reputation.

Mind Your Online Reputation

Don’t neglect your online presence. Social media tends to blur the lines between personal and professional lives. It’s not uncommon for employers to monitor their staff’s activities on social networks.

You can easily damage your reputation in the real world by neglecting your online presence. Be mindful of what you post and what interactions you have while on the internet. Keep in mind that nothing is private anymore, so you have to be very thoughtful about what you leave behind.

When in Doubt, Run a Reputation Audit

Some people are fully aware and on top of their reputations, while others are completely oblivious. If you find yourself in the second category, run a reputation audit. Examine how you project yourself and what types of messages you typically convey.

Aim to gather as much information about yourself as possible by looking at how others respond to you verbally and nonverbally. Request feedback from people you trust regarding your leadership style, personality, opinions, and overall presence. Look at any criticism as an opportunity to better yourself and your reputation.

Are you and your leadership team doing all that you can to maintain strong reputations? If so, I would be more than happy to get your feedback. Let’s book a few minutes to discuss. I would welcome the opportunity to connect.

Book an appointment with me at or call me at +1 (604) 943-0800.

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Inscape Consulting Group
Greg Nichvalodoff, BSc. BM (Honors), MBA, PCC, CMC
Office: 604.943.0800
Mobile: 604.831.4734