Reputation is a big part of image and brand management regardless if you are a man or a woman in today’s society. A bad reputation can follow you in your personal and work life. Sometimes a certain reputation is achieved accidentally or someone else has had an influence on it.

Psychologically speaking, a bad reputation can be a heavy baggage to carry with you through life. Depending on what is the reputation you have, people might have negative expectations of you before they even meet you.

Here’s a few tricks you could try to improve your reputation. Keep in mind, that in my experience, reputation is not built or fixed in a day. It might take long, but persistence is the key.

A Nobel prize winner, Martti Ahtisaari, has said one of the greatest lines in the history of mankind: “Luck has a lot to do with how your life develops”. This has carried me through many difficult situations but I’ve noticed that there’s always a chance to influence it one way or another.

If possible, start from the beginning

Is there a specific situation or a moment where your reputation went haywire? Look at that moment and evaluate it. Did you do something wrong? Be careful of your attitude. Attitude is what gets a lot of people into a lot of trouble. When looking and evaluating situations, it’s important to look at it from different perspectives.

Sometimes you did what you had to do and you felt like you had no option. Look at the situation once more, but in detail. Is there something you missed? Were the other people involved correct or did they do wrong? Be sure of what you are dealing with before you continue.

Understand the other point of view

It’s always easy to blame everyone else and not look into yourself. You should not always blame yourself for everything. There’s a golden middle road there somewhere and you have to find it. The best way to start is to understand where the “opposite side” is coming from.

Don’t think that anyone owes you anything just because you are in a certain position or that the world has to somehow help you out of something. Although it sometimes feels like God or someone else is on your side, it all comes down to yourself. Let go of your pride and ego, because those two keep getting people in trouble.

Once you’ve tried your best in letting go of your pride, start analyzing the opposite view. Understand why they have taken that specific side. Have they misunderstood something? Maybe they don’t know something they should? Maybe you don’t know everything?

If possible, discuss these problematic situations and topics with people, who do not view you in a pleasant light. Explain to them that you’re simply trying to understand how we got to where we are now. Bring a friend with you to these discussions. Preferably it’s a good friend of yours, but who can also view things as objectively as possible. Sometimes a friend is the best tool to help you understand a situation.

Make changes and stick to them

Change is always hard. What I can say is that it gets easier. When I was 16, I noticed that I looked sad and ugly in all of my pictures. I never smiled. Then I looked at pictures of when I was 10. Something happened in those six years and I lost my smile. I was determined to at least try to smile again. Trust me, I hated the next two years and it’s pictures. I haven’t saved too many of them… But when I started getting closer to my 20s, I started feeling more confident. The confidence was a build-up from many things and a consistent plan in improving myself, but somehow I felt like the smiling was a big thing. When I started looking at pictures, I learned how to smile in a way that it compliments me. A lot of my friends started giving me feedback that I always look so good in my pictures. It was the smile that got me started. It took quite some time though but I’m really glad I did it.

The changes you need to make usually don’t have to be big. When it comes to companies and organizations, the steps that need to be taken are much larger and in a different ball game. With people, it’s a little different. It starts with little things. Put a little effort into something you would’ve never done before. If you honestly wish to improve your reputation, look at your actions. Maybe there’s a habit you do that you could get rid of. Maybe you could do something else a little more.

I’m not telling you to change yourself completely. That’s not the point. But sometimes our personality gets lost in the translation of communication and relationships. Sometimes we stick to a bad thing because “everyone expects me to do that so I’ll just do it”. Think about what kind of a person you are and where you want to be. Once you have your targets set, you have a way to go. If you don’t know where you want to be, how do you know which way to go?

How to deal with a really difficult situation

Sometimes in really difficult situations, just like war or political scandals, a mediator is needed. A neutral person to help the opposite sides to work together and achieve a common goal. It can be a mutual friend or a complete outsider. Some people even offer this service as a job and you would pay them. It might work but especially when it comes to personal relationships, it might not be the best option. You should give it a try though if possible.

All situation and reputation issues are unique and should never be compared to another ones. There are similarities and sometimes a piece of a previous solution can be applied in your case, but it’s not 100% certain. That’s why it’s important to take a deep breath and start improving your reputation and handle it like a proper project. It can seem tiring, but if you do it well, the change should eventually happen.

Need help with improving your reputation? Get in touch with me at!

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