Building your reputation
Your reputation is constantly evolving. Over time, the accumulated observations of your words AND actions form the basis of your reputation.
It’s not only what you do, but also how others perceive your motives, that count. Remember, while it takes significant time and effort to build a great reputation, you can destroy your standing in the blink of an eye.
If you are hoping to be chosen for something – be it a leadership position or to represent the school at an event, your reputation can be your best friend or worst enemy.
Plan out your future self
Figure out what kind of person you want to be, and then work on showing that to other people. Ensure that your goal is to be known for something positive and something that fits with your personality. It must be something that's close to your heart: a reputation should have truth to it.
Do what’s right. Values matter. Operate with integrity at all times. This should be the foundation of everything you do. But, especially at school, small acts of greed, selfishness and jealousy can work against you (in ways you may not even notice) and showcase a lack of integrity.
Think before you act
Are your proud of who you are, what you say and what you do? Ask yourself: “Is what I am doing worthy of my best self?”
Think before you act. Count to 10 before losing your temper, sending a flaming e-mail, or making a caustic remark — or you may live to regret it. Let your conscience be your guide.
Stand up for what is right
Stand up for what is right. Maintain the strength of your ideas and principles. If you don’t know what you stand for, you’re leaving it all to chance. If you're at school and someone is being bullied, stand up for them. This will give you a bigger, stronger reputation, and a good one too!
Be honest about your mistakes and failures
Accept responsibility for your actions. If you wouldn’t be proud to see your words or actions in a newspaper headline, don’t say them or do them. If things go wrong despite your best intentions, face the consequences with an apology and your plan to do better. How well we deal with mistakes or failure is a really important part of building our reputation.
When your behaviour is steady and reliable, your actions become predictable. This enables people to form a good impression of you and anticipate future behaviour that will build a strong positive reputation.
You need to show the same great qualities to everyone you meet, bad days included.
Do what you say you’ll do
It sounds so simple, but think about it: have you ever asked someone to do something for you and they let you down? Now think of a time when someone told you they’d do something and delivered on it. You probably think of them as reliable and dependable. You trust them. And in all likelihood, you’d stand up for them if anyone questioned their integrity, right? Aim to be that person.
Go above and beyond
Go above and beyond what is expected. Do you only do what is expected, the bare minimum and no more? The actions of someone who goes above and beyond will be noticed: they stand out as positive role models for everyone.
Show you care about other people
Smile and be nice to people you see. Take a genuine interest in what other people are doing or thinking. People always appreciate someone who cares. You’ll find that people will be drawn to you.
Go above and beyond in this area too: go out of your way to help others reach their goals. Foster a mindset of helping other people.
Be a good-reputation champion. Help others build and sustain their reputations by acknowledging their good works, by modelling good behaviours yourself, and by never engaging in reputation assassination.
Get engaged with your community
One way to show you care about other people, is to get engaged in your community. Your community can be as small as our school or as large as our city. Your engagement will have everything to do with your values and goals. Being engaged means getting to know people, giving back your time and resources, and being available.
Look the part
An often overlooked and undervalued component to your reputation is your first impression. And like it or not, people make judgements before you open your mouth. Be sure to dress for the reputation you are working to build. What does the way that you are wearing your uniform say about the reputation that you are trying to convey to others here at school?
What about your body language? Your body language tells people a lot about what you think about yourself and what you think about them.
Do you need to re-build from a bad reputation?
You can rebuild your reputation by starting to do the things mentioned above, looking at areas you need to change in some way. Also consider:
- Do you need new friends? Are your friends adding value to, or taking away from your reputation? You might want to add some new people into your life, people who are known to say encouraging and positive things.
- While you are rebuilding your reputation you will need to ignore the negative. It is very important to stop listening to all the bad things being said about you. If the gossip is rooted in truth, let people (especially those you care about the most) know what is true, but that you want to change. Then, over time, go about proving it to them! Time will usually heal a lot of difficult situations.
It takes time to build a good reputation. And even more time to rebuild a damaged one. In time, the truth about you will be known. Most of the time people go on with their own lives, and forget what was said about you if you don't give them a reason to remember it.
A positive reputation opens doors
The people in your life who demonstrate most or all of these traits are probably the ones you hold in the highest regard. Their reputations precede them (in a good way) and they don’t have to sell themselves or brag, because others are doing it for them. And there is no greater value than a positive reputation, as it will open doors for you that you otherwise never could.
Mrs Maryanne Davis, Principal