A reputation, whether it is personal or professional, is a form of trust. Just like trust, a reputation takes a long time to build efficiently but always remains fragile. One misstep or the wrong word from an influential individual and a reputation can be damaged in an instant.
Thankfully, repairing a damaged reputation is far easier than repairing a true breach of trust. While it may seem like the end of the world, having a damaged reputation is sometimes, simply a downside to the digital world. Anyone can say anything online and eventually, it will become associated with the business or person they are talking about. Therefore, it is important to know how to repair a damaged reputation before it swallows you or your business whole.
Deciding to repair a damaged reputation is a big step and it isn’t easy.
Instead, you need to make the decision to see the repairing of your reputation through, regardless of what you find out. Whether your reputation is about you personally, or your business, even one negative thing is enough to knock you back into a state of ignorance. However, you need to fight that urge. Even if it takes a few minutes or a day, take everything in and emotionally delegate what you will need to get over and what you will need to deal with later. You need to logically assess the damage. As an entity of either your business or yourself, from a professional standpoint, you cannot allow petty insults or even lies to get the best of you.
Remember, you are working toward fixing the problem, not adding to it.
Once you’ve come to terms with the damage that’s already been done, you must realistically decide the level of control that you have. The amount of control is heavily dependent on how you choose to react; not the level of damage that’s been done. So long as you can keep a level, positive, clear frame of mind while planning out your response, this is a good thing. It means that you are in control. With this control, you need to think of a plan and decide how public you want your response to be.
If the media is digging into you or your business, talk to them and politely award them with the truth.
Yet, if you are dealing with a few nasty reviews, you don’t need to be quite as public. You simply need to respond to those reviews and ensure that your responses are as visible as the review itself. That way, when people see the review, they also see that you care enough to respond in a positive manner.
Consider the Issue in the Grand Scheme
While in the moment of a crisis, or when you are going through these steps to repair your damaged reputation, it’s easy to fall into a sense of despair; feeling as though this is the worst thing to ever happen to you.
However, once you start being proactive and making the necessary changes, what you once thought was so grandiose is really a simple bump in the road. Sure, when there are potholes in your reputation, they’re going to give you a good jolt, but if you repair those potholes, though the scars in the road remain, the impact is eventually forgotten.
To close, every person and every business has had to deal with repairing a damaged reputation at some point. It is how they respond that truly matters.