Create a cushion of goodwill to protect your reputation
Typically we try to avoid using words from unknown sources for our Crisis Management Quotables, but given the ease with which so many reputations are being put into jeopardy either by minor issues or manufactured/baseless outrage these days this gem was simply too good to pass up.
“Live in such a way that if anyone should speak badly of you, no one would believe it.” — Unknown
Short, simple, and dead on the nose. Can you completely prevent anyone from speaking poorly of you, starting rumors, or making a mountain out of a molehill when it comes to a minor negative? Not at all. However, what you can do is build such a stellar reputation that anyone hearing of such things immediately dismisses them. It takes work, but having a shield to protect you from the bumps, bruises, or occasional nasty spill your reputation takes is well worth it in the end.