Do You Have a Positive Reputation at Work?

There are several factors that contribute to your success at work. But you could argue one of the biggest is your reputation. “The most important career capital you have isn’t your technical skills or academic pedigree,” writes women’s leadership author and speaker Selena Rezvani. “It’s not your high-flying title. It’s not even your relationships … It’s your reputation.” Here’s how to tell if you’re seen positively by your team and what to do if you aren’t.

Signs Others Respect You

There are a few key indicators that your team likes and respects you. Here are some signs:

  • People ask you for advice
  • They welcome your feedback
  • You receive plenty of recognition
  • Leaders ask you to participate in new projects, showing they trust your work

Signs Others Disrespect You

On the other hand, there are some telltale signs you have a poor reputation at work. Here are some common scenarios:

  • Your opinion is consistently overlooked
  • Your feedback is ignored
  • Team members routinely gossip about you behind your back
  • People act distracted when you come to talk to them (e.g., not making eye contact)

While having a poor reputation in the workplace is never good, it’s something that can be changed as long as you put forth a concerted effort.

How to Improve Your Reputation

For starters, it’s important to display a strong work ethic and go the extra mile. A common reason why people lose respect is because they do the bare minimum. So, you want to make it a point to be dependable, reliable and someone everyone in your company can count on. Stay a few minutes late to help an employee complete a task, take initiative on a project you don’t have to, and so on.

Next, strive to be a positive person. One of the quickest ways to drive a wedge between yourself and the rest of the team is to be chronically negative and always complaining. This is a toxic behavior and creates issues for obvious reasons. But developing a positive mindset and having genuine enthusiasm can often help you win the favor of others.

Also, smile frequently. “When you make the habit of smiling at others with good eye contact, you will create a positive impact,” explains Melinda Fouts, Ph.D. “Smiling opens doors, and the person who has a welcoming smile is always well thought of and liked.”

Finally, own any mistakes you make. Everyone messes up from time to time, but the people who gain the most respect are usually the ones who take responsibility and apologize.

A positive reputation can go a long way at work. It makes for better relationships and paves the way for career development. And even if your reputation is less than ideal, there are a few things you can do to improve it so you’re seen in a positive light by your team.

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