Monday, May 17, 2010

Coaching Lessons: Reputation Recovery

I doubt that it is possible to have too much advice about how to: recover your reputation, restore your good name, and earn back respect. Once people start respecting you less, your ability to lead, to interact, even to function on the job, or in any other group, will be seriously compromised.

Recovering your reputation or regaining the respect of your colleagues is a complicated process. It is one thing to puff up your self-esteem; many therapists can help you with that. It is quite another thing to manage the complex of human relationships in an office where you have suddenly lost the respect of your colleagues. As I have said before, and as I do not mind repeating, it is a far more complicated and difficult process than everyday self-puffery.

So, here is a link to an enlightening article on this topic by Susan Cramm from the Harvard Business Review, via Bloomberg. Link here.

Most importantly, Cramm advises, as I have, immediate and effective action. If your reputation has been compromised, perhaps for reasons you do not even understand, the worst thing you can do is hesitate, delay, and introspect.

Best is to attack the problem, first by working to discover what went wrong, and next by acting to set things right.

Cramm adds that it is best to understand that recovery requires patience. It does not, and cannot, happen overnight.

To give a taste of her excellent analysis, I would offer the following passage: "It doesn't really matter that you are in trouble. What matters is how you rebound from adversity and demonstrate resiliency. An occasional visit to the doghouse won't derail your career unless you are defensive, can't play well with others, continue to fall short of expectations, or refuse to learn from your mistakes."


Mike C said...

In terms of reputation recovery, especially job/career, do you think often the best move is to simply to move on to a new job or new company where you can start with a clean slate and no existing perceptions to deal with.

Stuart Schneiderman said...

Assuming that the possibility exists, that might be a good idea, depending on the extent of the damage. In today's job market it is often not very easy to move on.

At the same time, it is good to acquire the skills to recover a damaged relationship, because one's reputation is always going to be challenged and one is always going to need to know how to defend it.

And sometimes if you go to a new company in the same industry people from both companies will know each other...

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