Interviewer, or the interviewed, you know the operative belief that past behavior patterns are seen as a trustworthy predictors of future performance.

It’s true; others judge us based on our history – whether experienced directly or inferred from a resume. In fact, researchers who study social systems, and the workplace is a social system, suggest that past behavior defines our reputation, determines how much others trust us and influences the degree to which they’re willing to be helpful.

If you’re not trusted by your direct reports, or others, here’s a practice that, over time, can help you shift your reputation: make promises and keep them. Actively seek out opportunities to make a promise, then deliver on it in agreed upon the timeframe and quality standards.

You can repair a damaged reputation if you consistently stay the course. Be true to your good word and watch how trust builds.

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