All Articles Tagged "reputation"
A few months ago one of my best friends from high school, Jessica*, reconnected with me. We were best friends since our freshman year, but after not addressing hurt feelings for years and our own bad behavior (mine) our friendship died the year I graduated college. We’ve begun to rebuild our friendship and catch up on our lives since our hiatus. During one of our talks, we mentioned our impending class reunion and I was overcome with feelings of dread. For the most part, high school was pretty good for me, until the last quarter of my last semester. I was friends with pretty much everyone at the school, but I had my core group of friends that began to deteriorate near graduation. A frenemy, who I truly thought was a friend, began to bash me to our mutual friends. Usually, if someone knows you well enough you expect for people to speak up for you, but the advantage that my frenemy had (that I didn’t recognize until after I went to college) was that my friends weren’t really friends with each other. Though I had my group of best friends, the only common denominator was me. If we all hung out, it was because I was there. They never called each other independently of me. So it was easy to drop a nugget of deception in one of their ears, because my frenemy was only seeing part of the story, and when there are holes in a situation, people usually fill them up with negativity.
I was the villain, and I wasn’t comfortable with that. But when I would ask people around me what I should do, their answer was always: ”Just let it go. Don’t even address it.” But it was eating me up, because it seemed like my silence would fuel the rumors, the lies, and with that people began to add on. I went from being a friend, to being some type of dictator that my frenemy’s cohort would even begin to tell my old teachers once I graduated and left the school. It was a mess, especially for the fact that I’m an extremely passive person, but I’m very dynamic, so I began to question myself. Is my personality that overbearing? Am I really brainwashing/bullying people to do what I want them to? Is there something wrong with me? Jessica and one of my other best friends would reassure me that I wasn’t this monster, but the damage in my mind was already done.
I honestly think that it influenced me so much that it’s what propelled my drive to get out of my hometown, taking any and every job all across the US just to avoid running into someone from that time and hearing: ”Oh hey! How are you? The last time I heard about you [insert frenemy's name here] said that you karate chopped some nuns and set fire to an orphanage? What’s that about?”
So when we had a recent flush of Janet Hubert articles in March, I could identify with her situation. I could feel her anger, her frustration of the fact that even though the situation had ended 20 years ago, she came off as a villain. No matter how she tried to reverse the situation and tell her side of the story, she comes off as erratic and the fact that her former cast members of the show are silent, the holes are filled by a negative view point on her.
It’s hard when a reputation proceeds you, or it’s built on assumptions, rather than facts. Though there are many explanations on how things happened, the full story never gets told and you’re the one left with the pain, and the constant questioning of: ”What happened?” You’re the one stewing in self-doubt and the realization that a resolution will never come because when there’s only one side of a story, people don’t want to discuss it. They just want to hold on to their preconceived notions about you.
Dealing with that incident was very isolating for me, but I can’t imagine how it is for Janet, due to the fact that when she tries to move on, her career is still defined by the questions and lack of answers. But as time moved on, in my situation, people did too, and eventually the pain is subsiding. I just hope the same for Ms. Hubert, some day.
Social media is expanding with millions of people worldwide interacting before, during and after work. While social media is an extraordinary communications’ tool, employers can’t help but wonder what employees are discussing on social media during work hours—and even when they’re off the clock.
It’s important that employees understand the impact they have on your brand, as well as their personal brand, when socializing online. The ramifications can be costly, resulting in job loss, forced resignations and legal action.
Black Enterprise offers seven tips to help you and your company create a social media policy that will make it clear to staffers what is and isn’t appropriate for social media as it relates to your brand. To learn more, click here.
When I was in elementary school in East St. Louis, I got in trouble trying to impress the “popular girls.” For Christmas I received a portable CD player and the expressed warning not to bring it to school. But wanting to be popular, I did anyway. I allowed this girl in the class to listen to it and because this dumb-dumb had the CD player on her desk, not covered by anything, the teacher saw it and confiscated it. After a series of unfortunate events, and another incident where I got in trouble for breaking school rules, the lies that I told to cover my butt came crumbling down on me.
From that moment on I vowed to give up lying all together. It was too much to carry on just one lie and instead I opted to tell the truth no matter what. It’s been years and I’ve still stuck to that commitment, and even though being completely truthful hasn’t been easy, I go to sleep every single night with a clean conscious that I’m not deceiving people and I don’t have the added stress of trying to remember what story I told who and what to keep straight.
Not only does keeping lies straight expel a lot of unnecessary energy, so does trying to correct people’s absolute perceptions of you.
My reputation is extremely important to me, so much so that I have this little inside joke with people of “My name good in these streets!” But no matter how truthful and upfront I’ve been with people there have been times that I met others who were illiterate personality-wise, because they were reading me all wrong.
Now there will be times when people see you in an unflattering light, or misconstrue your actions. The correct thing to do would be try to redeem yourself, or make the foggy situation into a clear one. But I’m talking about the times when even after you explain yourself, do a few back flips and a triple-double axel, the person is still going to hold onto their initial unflattering view of you. I like to call these views “their absolute truths.” In philosophy an absolute truth is a “fact” that is inflexible, fixed, and unwavering.
For me, the most frustrating false absolute truths about me come from my family. As I’ve noted before, growing up I had a stuttering problem. Now, stuttering is a speech impediment. I don’t know if it has affected other people mentally, I’m not about to research my own disorder, all right? But my brain was just fine. I caught on to things quickly and I retain a lot of information. However, certain cousins, aunts and uncles who knew me as a stuttering child will still treat me as if I have some type of learning disability.
“Okay Kendra. I’m going to put the milk on the shelf right here. You see it? This milk is for you. Don’t forget, okay?” “Why are you talking at me and not to me?” Sometimes I had to stop myself from saying: “Stop trying to explain rudimentary things to me. If you can understand it with your intelligence deficiency, know that I probably caught on to the concept twenty steps before you did!”
I would find myself in elementary school, middle school, high school and college filling my brain with whatever I could, from copying the dictionary, taking courses in Latin, French, Spanish and Italian (which really means nothing now because I can’t fluently speak any of these languages), taking speed reading courses, watching hours of documentaries, and reading any and all newspapers. I knew I was smart, but it wasn’t enough for me to know it, I had to prove to my family, the ones that when I’m trying to cross the street at 14 years old yelled at me to make sure that I looked both ways.
I would beat myself up internally if I even struggled with a concept, because to me it might prove that maybe they were right. Maybe I am slower than everyone else.
Those thoughts would be compounded if I was watching a game show with them and knew answers that they didn’t and then I was questioned on how I knew the answer. ”No, you’re lying. You had to have seen an earlier version of the show. We know that sometimes you lie. Remember when you were in elementary school and with the CD player?” With my family, you can’t live anything down.
It wasn’t until my sophomore year of college and in a late night gab session with my best friend and roommate Tammi, she asked me: “Sometimes you seem like you have to prove you’re smart. We all know it. Why do you do that?”
I realized that I was projecting the stupidity of my family and my own insecurity on my friendships. Outside of my family I was seen as highly intelligent from teachers, professors, associates and friends. Why was I letting the viewpoints of people who remember the little girl who took 30 seconds to ask a single question phase me as an adult?
I learned that no matter what other people think of me, I had to be comfortable in who I am. Knowing my own strengths and owning them. I’m saying all of that to say this, there are times in your life that no matter how you portray yourself to be, there’s going to be someone who’s going to come up with a viewpoint of you that’s not accurate and they’re not going to change it. When that time comes, you have two choices. You can try to do whatever you can to change their opinion, or you can become comfortable in who you are and be satisfied in knowing the truth for yourself.
From personal experience, choose the latter, you’ll be glad that you did. Even though I like to keep my name good in these streets, it’s even better that it’s good in my own mind.
Kendra Koger’s name is good in these streets, and on twitter @kkoger. No lie!
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The Grio has been focusing on black-owned businesses and, more specifically, some of the issues facing these companies. One of the common complaints that the author, Lawrence Watkins, saw across social media in response to his story is this: “Customer service is terrible with black-owned businesses.”
“Although this is definitely not true for many black businesses, it is an area in which we need to pay special attention,” writes Watkins. Good customer service breeds more business and customer loyalty, he continues. People who are “very satisfied” are more likely to come back and spread the word to others about the quality of the service.
The story lays out the barriers to good customer service: stressed out owners and workers who wear a number of different hats; arguing with customers in “tense situations”; and a failure to go the extra mile beyond the sale, giving the customer a good experience overall.
It ought to be said that any of these issues could plague a business owned by anyone from any background. But the fact is if there’s a perception that black businesses specifically are more prone to these issues, it could preclude that business’ success.
Is this an undeserved reputation for black-owned businesses? And please take to the comments to talk up the great customer experiences you’ve had with a black-owned business.
If you’re a celebrity, scandal is part of the trade off, but some celebs have earned bronzed statues in the Hall of Shame of Public Opinion for mistakes they made in front of the whole world. You can’t mention their names without certain situations finding their way into the conversation. There are so many dramas you can name, but off of the top of the dome, here are just a few stars whose antics have become lore.
The Black Mamba is a guaranteed Hall of Famer but his legacy is marred by the false rape charges which cost him lucrative endorsements. In the summer of 2003, Kobe went on trial for sexual assault against a Colorado woman who he claimed to have had consensual sex with, and the whole incident threw some dirt on his squeaky-clean image. The now married father of two professed his innocence in a memorable press conference and gifted Vanessa a purple ring to get back on her good side. He balled some of the best games of his career around that time, and was eventually acquitted, but for some reason, people often bring it up when they talk about the famed Laker.
Tags:blunders and mistakes, brandy, celebrity, celebrity court cases, Chris Brown, halle berry, kanye west, kobe bryant, lebron james, Mary J Blige Burger King commercial, mary j. blige, R Kelly infamous tape, R. Kelly, reputation, Rihanna and Chris Brown, scandal, Taylor Swift, Usher, Usher and Tameka Foster divorce
Apologizing is a hard thing to do, especially in professional situations where people are hesitant to claim liability and be accountable when things go wrong. However, learning to say “I’m sorry” is important in business. The repercussions for not acknowledging mistakes can have disastrous effects on a brand’s reputation. The train wreck that is “Basketball Wives” serves as a perfect example.
The show was able to coast on its success and ignore criticism of the ladies’ outlandish behavior until the most recent season. The show’s biggest culprits, Tami Roman and Evelyn Lozada, have been on an apology tour in an effort to mend the damage their bullying antics have done to their respective careers.
Tami has taken to social media outlets like Twitter and Facebook to express her regret over her treatment of fellow cast-mate Kesha Nichols. Tami took responsibility online and on Wendy Williams’ couch for her actions, and promised to use her platform more responsibly. Evelyn tweeted her remorse for her public feud with former friend Jennifer Williams and pitching a wine bottle at cast-mate Kenya Bell. She took it a step further and penned a public letter to her 7-year-old self, promising to be a better role model for young girls.
There is nothing like threats of a boycott and the collective dragging of your Twitter handle through the mud to churn up feelings of remorse. When your public image is at stake, a speedy apology is a good first step to repairing your reputation. Being honest about mistakes made allows a brand to reach a turning point within a crisis, and enhance its reputation by building trust, satisfaction, and loyalty. Business is all about relationships, and no one wants to be in a relationship, professional or personal, with someone who can’t own up to a mistake.
Celebrities are a rare breed of creatures. They’re human just like the rest of the mortals on planet earth, but they’re not really allowed to be. The public won’t let them. The famous are held to a different standard and when they fall from glory and become infamous for their behavior, it’s hard to ever look at them the same way again. But if they put out an amazing album or have a good day on the golf course, can you ignore all that? Check out these seven celebrities and let us know if you can really separate the artist and their life from their craft.
There used to be a time when Breezy was the anointed successor of Usher and Michael Jackson. He had the talent, skill and had superstar Rihanna on his arm. And then that fateful night in 2009 happened when he assaulted her. Even though Chris launched a successful comeback with chart topping singles, there’s a permanent bruise to his career. He returned to the Grammy’s this past year, performing twice and winning an award, but for the press and Miranda Lambert, it was still too soon to let him get all that shine.