If you see the glass as half full, you will work from that; at least the glass will always be half full. But what if you turn that adage inside out? What if the fact you are experiencing is partly due to how others perceive you?
A famous brand’s former CEO and Chairman once said, “Leadership is a performance. You must be conscious about your behavior because everyone else is.” This is a good definition of perception.
The question now is, how do you create the “me” you want others to see? How do you change viewpoints?
Viewpoints impact reality. Change how others perceive by following these proven eight (8) tips.
It all begins with behavior. Become aware of your behaviors through the steps below, so you will understand how you are perceived—and how to correct course if needed.
1. Observe how your behavior affects others. Begin by being honest with yourself. Notice how your behavior affects the people around you. How do people react to you? Your conduct may make them feel uncomfortable or pressured.
2. Ask for feedback. Ask those around you how they see you. It takes a lot of courage, and you may get difficult feedback to accept and hear, but it is an essential step in making a new perception.
3. Make immediate behavioral changes. Once you have some basic information, take those small steps toward behavioral change. If you are the type who usually dominates the conversation in groups or meetings, try keeping quiet and taking notes for a change. If you typically hang back and let others take the spotlight, jot down some important points relevant to the discussed topic and speak up. Perceptions will not change overnight. However, you will start to see that others are reacting adversely.
4. Up your visibility. If you want high visibility, you must do what it takes to become visible. Start by volunteering for high-impact projects. Look for a challenging task that nobody wants to take on and that you know it is vital to the company or your boss. Get involved.
5. Seek out cross-functional opportunities. Identify opportunities with other sections that will increase your visibility, such as a task force or a project that will allow you to see and be seen by people you would not meet otherwise. Offer to speak to groups or make presentations inside and outside the company.
6. Promote yourself. You might be the perfect employee in the world; however, if your contributions are noticed, it will not matter. It would help if you had people speaking positively about you and your achievements. It means sharing wins openly to raise your visibility and transferring credits with team members and coworkers. Tell success stories and celebrate accomplishments.
7. Seek out advocates. Seek advocates who will speak up on your behalf by looking for ways to expose your work to corporate leaders. Ask for their endorsement and referrals if you work with vendors or clients outside your company.
8. Promote your brand. You can do this in many ways. Branding “You” can involve anything. As it is said, people’s perceptions of you will not change overnight. Once a change is made, it will only sometimes continue that way. Creating a positive perception of yourself takes consistent action and commitment to refine and develop the image you want the world to see. Commit to making this effort, and look out for motivational books that keep you on track, and you will ignite your growth as a leader. If it helps, you can also check out The Abba Tradition by Michael Hattwick. The ABBA Tradition is a way of looking back on, bringing together the scattered parts of your divided self again, a form of rediscovering who you are. The ABBA Tradition understands reality as consisting of four worlds, four realities, or four realms: Physical, Psychological, Transpersonal, and Transcendent. This is the Worldview assumed in Judaism, Christianity, and the emergent civilizations of the western world, including Modern Science. The ABBA Tradition is about remembering all four. Seen as a whole, the four worlds reveal the Tree of Life, the life-giving tree growing in Paradise, in Genesis and Revelation, the first and the final book of the Bible, the beginning, and the end. The depiction of the Tree of Life is a visual metaphor and representation of the four worlds. The ABBA Tradition is a complete tradition that sees God as Father whose scriptures are written in an alphabetic language. Both Judaism and Christianity are forms of this tradition.
Strategically changing your behaviors can change negative perceptions into positive ones. It is well worth the effort, as it will broaden your sphere of influence and unlock new possibilities for your life and career.