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how to build a stellar reputation and gain respect (for free)

In our home, we have been talking a lot about representing ourselves well. We are into The Nutcracker season and I mean FULL FORCE! I am pretty sure we live in The Land of Sweets now! We listen to the music all day from the kitchen, attend rehearsals each weekend until the show in December, talk about it all day long! There are worse obsessions, so I am totally okay with this. I am loving getting into The Nutcracker too! Pointe shoes hang on the wall and ballet books are read at nighttime!

Our ballet theatre where all four girls take ballet expects each dancer to represent herself well and conduct herself with kindness, character, and respect, not just at the studio, but at home, church, and school too. I love this because it is reinforcing what we are learning at home. There are ways to represent ourselves well so when the time comes for a job promotion, academic achievement, or extracurricular opportunities, we can be “that girl.” Yes, we want to represent ourselves well, but in the end, when we conduct ourselves in this way, we ultimately represent our God well. We are good stewards of the life God has given us and cause people to wonder what is different. The answer of course, is Jesus Christ - He changes our hearts.

I am including a list of behaviors that earn respect. When I talk with ladies in counseling, especially those in school or going into the workplace after college, they want to know how to thrive. The following attributes create a stellar reputation but also point to Jesus, which is the ultimate goal. No matter how old you are or what stage of life you are in. From students in school to stay-at-home-moms to ladies in a work environment, these efforts show character and integrity. They are absolutely free and available to everyone!

Be on time or early. Some like to say, “Early is on time and on time is late.” In recent years, I have tried extra hard to get places five minutes early to take a breath and not feel rushed. It does not always happen, but I try. This also means I have to prepare to leave earlier than I usually would. When we are late, it speaks that our time is more important than everyone else’s. It also just feels good to not rush everyone around to get somewhere.

Do your best. Give your God-given best in everything you do. Whether it is washing dishes at home where nobody sees or working on a gigantic presentation at school, give your best effort. Funny thing is, nobody can compartmentalize work ethic. It is impossible to work really hard where it “counts” and people see, and not work hard when it “does not matter” and nobody sees. Work ethic shows through in all areas of life. Work hard everywhere! Be the “go-to” person people can count on to get the job done.

Show passion. This goes along with doing your best. Demonstrate that you care and verbally express concern. When working with people, offer your best effort to make sure a good job is done. Ask for ways you can help.

Watch body language. Maintain eye contact with those you are speaking to or those who are speaking to you. Put the phone down when talking with people. Give attention to humans. Sit up in the desk without slouching. Keep the elbows off the table. Engage with people and pay attention to what they say in order to respond accurately and appropriately.

Maintain a good attitude. Even on a bad day, you can be real while keeping a positive attitude. Acknowledge it is a difficult day, but continue to push through without entertaining a bad mood. Be the person others want to be around. Act with kindness. Accept assignments with a cheerful heart. Build others up with your words.

Be teachable. Nobody wants to be around a “know-it-all.” Act with confidence while acknowledging that there are different, perhaps better, ways to accomplish a task. Maintain a humble heart and admit you can always learn something new.

Be prepared. Pack your backpack with completed homework the night before and set it by the door. At our house, everyone has a church bag hanging on a hook by the door, always ready with Bibles and fun pens so we just grab and go. Pack a lunch the night before. Practice a presentation as many times as it takes to feel ready. Write out a monthly calendar. Lay out clothes the night before. If you can do it today, go for it. You never know what might come up if you wait for later and if nothing comes up, you can enjoy some down time.

Do a little extra. Go above and beyond. Give a little bit more. Clean up after yourself at a restaurant by stacking your plates or pushing your chairs under the table. This builds a solid reputation so people know you are dependable and trustworthy. People who act conscientiously in this way, usually receive the benefit of the doubt when the time comes.

Create joy. Let people leave a conversation with you feeling better than when they began the conversation. Speak words of encouragement and gentility. Be kind and complementary.

Whether or not we fail a test, miss a job opportunity, listen to children argue all day, burn a meal, argue with the husband, or barely hang on, all we can do is daily offer up everything we do to God. It is never our ability or talent that sustains us. He is strong when we are weak. He takes our imperfections and uses our limited capability for His glory. All we can do is offer our very best and let God take over the rest. It feels like such a relief to know I can never do it on my own so God takes care of everything. I am so glad we have such a good Father. Some days, and even through some very long seasons in life when I feel I am barely hanging on, He holds me while I wait. His goodness is there.



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