Your Reputation Could Win in Court Yet Still Lose Outside of It
Does a legal "win" automatically protect, restore or rebuild your reputation after it's been attacked? Surprisingly, no.
When our reputation is under attack it can be a stressful or painful experience. Our emotions can be overwhelming, even if they don't feel that way because our thinking may inspire less than our best judgment, decision making and actions. Out of fear or anger, or both, we might decide to punch back by pursuing legal help for a remedy to vindicate ourselves. Yet we don't consider the larger risk of doing such.
What is that risk?
Would you believe that when it comes to your reputation that "winning" in court doesn't always allow you to win outside of court? A court decision is a legal interpretation and ruling. However, it has minor influence or persuasion over reputation in the court of public opinion, when it comes to those whose approval you're seeking.
As people, we're emotional and a cold, court ruling doesn't automatically change people's emotions, feelings, mindsets, attitudes and behavior.
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So what in the world am I saying?
We can't always sufficiently or fully restore or rebuild our relationship with the assistance of the legal system. We can still suffer pain even if we "win" in court. That's why it can prove helpful to look at reputation help from more than one angle to fully problem solve.
By all means, chase legal remedy if you are convinced that is what is necessary. Realize though that your reputation might get attacked more in court, and if you're a public figure or company, that additional, escalated negativity will be reported on by the media.
Strongly research and consider problem solving with a reputation specialist. Many people think that's exactly what they are doing with a lawyer, a team of attorneys and the courts. Or they assume that means some fluffy public relations firm they can't afford, can't trust and don't believe will solve anything.
Yes, legal teams might prove helpful but there is risk there too. Public relations firms can do more good for you than you think. A reputation specialist can help you during a challenging time better analyze the difficulty and work with you as a team and advocate to create a problem-solving strategy and implement and work it to greatly increase the odds of protecting, restoring or rebuilding your reputation.
This specialist will see more about the situation than you might as well as opportunities to correct damage and where and how exactly to accomplish it. This person also has studied and worked specifically in either the specific stress or pain you're enduring or the type of situation.
This approach can do what the courts rarely do - help you more wisely, skillfully problem solve in a manner that can address the emotions of reputation difficulty or reputation crisis. That's where the problem solving, the healing really becomes possible and much more likely.
Knowing what to do, how to do it, when to do it and to what degree, with what nuances and competence regularly proves to be the difference maker.
A reputation specialist can also help redirect or correct a negative narrative online in the public, online or in an industry that the law doesn't specialize in accomplishing for you or even do.
A wider, more specifically trained perspective helps create the breakthroughs that might not otherwise prove possible.
Save this article or share it with someone you care about. It can be a missing puzzle piece for reputation pain.
Michael Toebe is a specialist for reputation and crisis - serving individuals and organizations with advisory, consulting, coaching, communications and risk management for reputation and crisis. His published articles have appeared in online magazines Chief Executive, Corporate Board Member, Corporate Compliance Insights and the New York Law Journal. He publishes the Reputation Times newsletter and is writing a book on reputation crisis (expected publishing date, early 2020).