As a professional coach, you’ve no doubt invested a great deal of time, energy and perhaps even financial resources in building your personal brand, both off- and online. However, all of your work may be for naught if you don’t have a positive reputation to back it up. In their book, Radically Transparent: Monitoring and Managing Reputations Online (Wiley, 2008), reputation-management experts Andy Beal and Judy Strauss, Ph.D. define reputation against what it is not: “Reputation is not what the company or individual thinks about itself, but what others think. It is pure perception that may or may not be based on fact. It is the esteem that an entity has in the eyes of its stakeholders.” Although a positive reputation can be your greatest asset, Beal and Strauss’ definition illuminates an important truth: You don’t control your reputation. The good news, however, is that you can manage your reputation. In your offline life, reputation management entails elements such as conducting your affairs with authenticity and integrity; soliciting honest feedback from clients, colleagues, family and friends about how they perceive you; and delivering high-quality coaching services that your clients are eager to recommend to others. Demonstrating your credibility by association with a recognised credentialing body such as the International Coach Federation, the European Mentoring and Coaching Council, the Association of Coaches or others is also an important part of managing your reputation. These bodies all require members to abide by a set of ethics which are available for your clients to peruse. Further than membership, obtaining a credential with one of these bodies demonstrates that you have undergone appropriate training and have demonstrated your competence as a professional coach. http://ow.ly/V7Ils

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