Chances are people see you differently than you see yourself. For example, it’s likely your anger is bigger to others than it is to you. The problem is perception is reality, at least in the mind of the perceiver.
It’s frustrating to be perceived differently from your own self-perceptions.
Successful leaders successfully project the “right” image.
The “right” image is the alignment of organizational values with professional behaviors. For example, if your organization values relationship building, you should be able to describe and exemplify five relationship building skills. (Five is a number pulled out of the hat for illustration purposes)
Leaders can behave their way into a public image that reflects their inner reality.
Six ways to align the internal you with the external you:
#1. Fully embrace and freely align with organizational values.
#2. Invite, acknowledge and accept the perceptions of others even when they seem wrong. You’ll never learn how to project the right image by verbally correcting another’s perceptions.
#3. Listen to exceptions. It seems there’s always one or two people offended by your humor or overwhelmed by your demeanor. Sometimes the exceptions are expressing what others believe but won’t say.
#4. Invite an outsider to evaluate you. The perceptions of someone that doesn’t have history with you helps with defensiveness.
#5. When someone says you seem sad, angry, worried, stressed and you don’t think you are, ask them to explain what you’re doing that makes you seem that way. Explore your behaviors.
#6. Identify specific behaviors that clearly express to others your personal alignment with organizational values and practice, practice, practice.
Do you think this “image management” is important?
How can leaders learn how to project the “right” image?