In general people either ignore you (or your organization) or we judge, often with incomplete information. We quickly form a characterization — an an assessment (however grounded or ungrounded) of who you are, what you stand for, and of what value, if any, you are to us.

This is unavoidable. People are assessing you all the time, and the perception they derive becomes their reality about you or your organization. In many instances the two are intertwined. Your actions cause characterizations to form about the organization just as the organization’s actions trigger assessments about you.

Further, other individuals in your organization or that you appear to be affiliated with cause assessments. So…if you are a wall street trader then these days there is an automatic (assumed) characterization of who you are and what you stand for. Likewise for sales people, law enforcement officers, military, etc.

The actions of other people you seem to be associated with produce an environment that you exist within, at least in terms of the perceptions of people who don’t, can’t, or haven’t taken the time to understand more of the nuances.

As such it is vital for you to protect your organization’s brand and public perception. If you tolerate bad behavior then it ultimately does reflect on you, and you are perceived as guilty by association. As seemingly obvious as this all is it’s surprising that more people don’t appear to connect these dots and take appropriate actions to monitor and influence actions within their affiliations.

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