4 ways to tarnish your reputation

Everyone makes mistakes, but repeating certain workplace faux pas can damage your reputation and make others see you as lazy, incompetent or worse. Here are four actions to avoid if you want to protect your reputation:

  1. Ignoring emails. Failing to respond to emails that require your action is a surefire way to diminish your reputation. Even if you don’t have the answer at that time, respond with a status update or your plans to respond.
  2. Saying “Yes” too often. Overextending yourself nearly guarantees that you’re going to drop the ball on something. Even if you pull everything off, it’s unlikely that each project got the best you had to offer. Say “Yes” to fewer requests in order to give the best of yourself.
  3. Blaming others. Even when it’s true, making an excuse isn’t a professional response. If you fall short of expectations or make a mistake, don’t point fingers. Instead, accept blame for your part in the mistake, and look for ways to prevent the problem from happening again.
  4. Failing to prepare for meetings. Waiting until the last minute to prepare or trying to wing it gives attendees the impression that the meeting wasn’t important to you, and they’ll resent your wasting their time.

— Adapted from “You Are Subconsciously Tarnishing Your Reputation,” Entity Solutions staff, http://blog.entitysolutions.com.au.