Whether it is us who is doing the driving or an employee that is driving one of our vehicles, we must be diligent about keeping our emotions in check when we get in the driver's seat.
This is not just about during work hours either. We are under watchful eyes of the public on the way to the office, at lunch or stopping for coffee or a soda, on the way home, and other places we might be where we are driving a company vehicle or wearing a company shirt or uniform. Yelling at a clerk, trying to gain preferential treatment by not waiting our turn in line, making or leaving a mess in a client's home or in a store where we are shopping or eating, and generally not being respectful of people around us are not great ways to impress anyone who witnesses our actions.
Remember, it doesn't take much to destroy or seriously dent our reputation. We just need to remember that people are watching us all the time. Even if they aren't in a position to use our product or services, they may know someone who does or might in the future. Even months from now, they may remember some behavior that causes them to recommend that someone not engage our services because of what they see or hear from us now.
Reputation management, similar to loss prevention for retailers because we are concerned about the accidental loss or theft of our good name and reputation, is something we need to take seriously and focus upon. It's not going to happen by itself. It takes a concerted effort to keep it strong.
It only takes one or two careless or stupid acts to blow a whole lot of positive advertising, intentional branding, and customer service.
We don't need to be looking over our shoulder constantly to see who is watching. We just need to be on good behavior all the time, and then it won't matter who sees us. They'll be seeing what we want to project to the marketplace and respect us for it.
Steve Hoffacker, CAPS, CEAC, SHSS, is a licensed Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist-Master Instructor and best-selling author of universal design books. To learn about this and other programs for aging-in-place or universal design, visit stevehoffacker.com or call 561-685-5555. Also, check out the "Aging & Accessibility" groups on Facebook and LinkedIn.