Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Perception is Reality

Do you know how others perceive you? Have you ever wondered? Do you even care?

You may have heard this proverb somewhere along your career path:

They'll never care how much you know until they know how much you care.

Trite? Maybe. But there's probably a nugget of truth there. In fact, I've learned recently that often the things that seem to bug me the most usually carry with them a lesson I need to learn.

We are measured ...
Not by what we are, but by the perception of what we seem to be;
Not by what we do, but by how we appear to do it.

It really doesn't matter what I think as it relates to my behavior in the world. If I'm a nice, caring person in my own mind but occur in the world as a pushy blowhard, that's what I am. Others' perception is their reality, and unless I'm willing to take a look at that through eyes other than my own, I'm destined to remain forever locked in that perception.

It's as easy (and as difficult) as having a conversation. But I've got to be willing to hear - really hear - what the other person says.

Try it - I guarantee it will make all the difference in the world.


At 10:19 AM, Blogger Paul (from Idea Sandbox) said...

Okay... so what do you do when you're made aware of a particular perception that isn't representative... (and potentially destructive to you)...

How do you remedy that? How can you 'manage perception' and 'change perception' - especially when you're not certain how you were viewed that way in the first place?

At 9:51 PM, Blogger Jodee Bock said...

OK, I'll take a stab at that ...

You say you were "made aware" of an incorrect perception. Does that mean that it wasn't a direct comment - from the source? In my experience the best way to deal with any perception is in face-to-face conversation when at all possible.

I'm reminded of a book by Jan Carlzen called "Managing Moments of Truth" which, if I remember correctly, said that, speaking of customer service, any interaction with the customer - even when he's unhappy - is an opportunity to make it right.

Of course, this is just a suggestion - what does your gut tell you to do?


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