By what am I Known?

25 Mar

A year and a half ago, I wrote a series of blog posts on how people know me. I have come to realize that there is another way that people know (and often judge) you. We frequently are evaluated based on the recommendations we make. To me this may be more evident than it is to others. As an attorney, many have judged me just on the people I’ve recommended. As a Realtor, telling people other professionals to use often puts my reputation on the line. As the director of a ministry, my thoughts about a church often carry a lot of weight.

I have realized the tremendous benefit of recommending someone who changed a friend’s life, for which they continuously thank me. I have understood the tremendous guilt of recommending someone who did not pan out and assist the person to whom I recommended. Neither were really a result of anything more than my giving a simple name.

The more I think about it, however, the more I feel this is a normal reaction. To many people, we are unable to assist them in everything they need. Our friends may want a mechanic, an appraiser, a tutor, a computer programmer, a type of car, or even a ride. When they do, we sometimes feel confident enough to throw a name out there. After they get that name, most of our interaction with them on that transaction is done, yet we are often not finished with the transaction.

I find that often an evaluation of me (and my supposed wisdom) can easily be broken down by how well the the recommendations that I made worked out. Friends tend to know where to go to ask questions. So, when you have a question about taxes, you may say to ask Susie or don’t rent a car before asking Matt what kind of deal you can get.

This has become such a thing for me that last week, I had over ten conversations in a single day that people felt one way or another about a recommendation I had given them for something. I began to see that I am not known so much for the cool things (or even wretched things) I do or some salient facts, but rather for the people I have connected. Sometimes this gives me more credit than I deserve.

I should probably spend more time considering things before I recommend, but this also means that those who vouch for me are on the line when I work with others. So, if you are reading this because it was recommended to you, please don’t hold it against that person, unless, of course, they were telling you to read it because they thought it was entertainingly bad.

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2 Responses to “By what am I Known?”

  1. Jenni May 12, 2013 at 6:01 pm #

    I don't think my opinion of a person as a whole would really be changed if I were accustomed to bad recommendations from them… but my opinion of their ability to recommend well might be. 🙂

  2. Jenni May 12, 2013 at 6:02 pm #

    Oh, but if you changed settings on your blog to where the "prove you're not a bot" characters are easier to read based on my recommendation, then I 1) thank you and 2) think a little higher of myself due to that. 🙂

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