Saturday, February 02, 2008

Good Blog Post

I found this blog post recently, and would like to share it with everyone else.

Great stuff.

Knee Deep in the Hoopla

Everyone, to some degree, cares what other people think about them. Sure, there are those out there that have the “I am who I am, and all others be damned!” mentality, but even they must come to the stark realization one day that their success relies, to some degree, on the decisions of others. Sooner or later, everyone worries about their reputation.

So, what is it about this phenomenon of reputation?

Think about The effect which you have onto the world around you. Not just to your immediate family, close friends, and co-workers, but onto the circles of individuals belonging to more outlying portions of your friends and family. How about your acquaintances, lesser acquaintances, and people whom you don’t even really know, but with whom you still occasionally come into contact? The point is that we often have more impact on our own world, more than we realize. How often, however, do we take a moment to think about how we impact the lives around us, or if that impact is particularly positive or negative?

Think about the sum total of each of these groups, then think about the positive or negative impact which you have on them. Think about the degree of this impact: Just a bit good, just a bit bad, a whole lot good or a whole lot bad; or somewhere in between? In a psychological-economic sense and parlance of “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” it is essentially the net imports and net exports of the emotional capital, both deposits and withdrawals, with other people.

Yes, people remember the impacts which you have on them. Some may let you know; some may not say a thing…but remember nonetheless. People tend to criticize when a need of theirs is not being met, but others will just let the ill will fester inside of them.

For the uninitiated, the concept of emotional deposits and withdrawals: Each time you interact with someone you will affect their emotions—if you do so positively, you make an “emotional deposit.” If you do so negatively, you make a withdrawal. Of course, you want to maximize the deposits which are made with each person in your life and minimize the chance that you will withdraw too much with a person. If you have enough emotional deposits with a person, you can certainly run a line of credit, so to speak. However…run a negative balance for too long and it becomes possible that you’re go into emotional default with a person and they’ll eventually write you off.

In an economic sense—a grander one—you must be aware of the aggregate of impacts which you have on other people. The net of the deposits and withdrawals which you make is ultimately the reputation which you have. In this sense, it is wise to be actively aware, monitor, and manage the impacts which you have with other people as to increase the value of your reputation and make you more famous than infamous.