Catherine's Career Corner

September 3rd, 2009
Change People’s Perception of You at Work











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How do people perceive you at work? Good or bad? If bad, do you want to know how to change people’s perception of you at work? Perception is everything because how you see yourself is probably different from how others see you at work. Explore this post to know how to change people’s perception of you at work because their perception if bad will affect the way they communicate and interact with you at work.

How to Change Peoples Perception of You at Work

By Catherine Adenle

Perception is everything but our perception of ourselves, others and how others perceive us aren’t necessarily true or correct. After all, perceptions are just what we think or how we perceive things or others. In the workplace, bad perception by your manager, colleagues or others can cause an irreparable damage to your image and can ultimately cause you your career growth.

See Perceptions of Your Work May Linger Longer Than Actions

 “There are things known and there are things unknown, and in between are the doors of perception.” – Aldous Huxley 

Do you want to know how to change people’s perception of you at work? If so, the first step is knowing exactly how you are perceived at work. So how are you perceived? From the kind of interactions you have at work and how you are treated with the additional information of your work in progress meetings and your end of year feedback from your manager, you can easily find out about how you are perceived.

Knowing how to change people’s perception of you at work and actually working to change people’s perception are two different things. The former is challenging because it does require a good deal of thought, motivation, self-awareness and continuous practice. Changing a reputation at work can be a tricky business but it is worth working on so that you let people see that their perception of you shatter right in front of them.

Why would you want to know how to change people’s perception of you at work? Remember, your career is yours to manage. Your organisation cannot manage your career for you.

See You are the Pilot of Your Career Plane

At work, you will always be judged not only on what you do, but on how you do it. The judges are your manager, colleagues and other parties. Consequently, other people’s perceptions and evaluations of you play an important role in your career growth. Having the skills to know how to change other people’s perception of you at work is crucial. People with the skills to influence others’ people’s perceptions at work will have a far better chance of controlling their own destiny where they work.

For this reason, it’s important to let others know exactly what you do and how your efforts is directly helping your organisation. I am not asking you to toot your own horn at any given opportunity and brag about your efforts and the value you add. However, you must keep others informed of the facts regarding you work and how you help with the bottom line.

See Factors That Influence Perception in the Workplace

Recently, I came across an apt article by Edward Chalmers on How to Change People’s Perception of You at Work, improve your business image and create a positive image so your colleagues or manager will not misperceive you.

In the article, Edward identified 8 common mis-perceptions and suggested ways to transform them to positive ones:

  • They think you’re lazy
  • They think you’re unprofessional
  • They think you’re the office clown
  • They think you’re a party guy
  • They think you’re a womanizer
  • They think you’re always late
  • They think you’re unethical
  • They think you’re not a team player

This is the article:

It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.

- Warren Buffet

Other people’s perceptions are very important in business. First impressions are made within seconds and office gossip has the potential to damage a reputation almost beyond repair. Do you know how your colleagues perceive you?

WHO, ME?

Have you overheard someone’s negative comments? Has your boss reprimanded you during your evaluation? Has a friend said something about your behavior? Perhaps people’s body language or tone of voice changes when you join a conversation, or maybe you just have a gut feeling.

If you want to find out how you’re perceived, ask someone you can trust and listen carefully to their comments, without taking offense.

Other people’s perceptions of you may be wrong, but rather than wasting time complaining, getting even or defending yourself, take action to change their opinion. Just keep in mind that your actions in the first few months at a new company or in a new position will set the tone for how others perceive you.

Here are eight common misperceptions, and ways you can turn negative impressions into positive ones.

Make a Change

Make a Change

TAKE AIM

1- They think you’re lazy

Take initiative
Ask for more responsibilities and go above and beyond your call of duty at work. No matter how full your schedule is, you need to be seen working harder.

Show your accomplishments
Don’t brag; use a little creativity to turn the office gossip from criticism to praise. People like to be thanked. Try saying something like, “thanks for the figures you gave me; that really helped me get my report ready for the Board of Directors.”

Watch your body language
Don’t slouch or lean against the nearest wall or desk. Keep your feet off the desk — literally and figuratively. Approach your work with energy and enthusiasm to counteract any suggestions that hard work goes against your nature.

2- They think you’re unprofessional

Master etiquette
Courtesy is contagious. When you’re respectful and polite, it makes it more difficult for people to judge you unfairly, blame you unjustly or otherwise disrespect you.

Accept criticism
Don’t be defensive when you receive feedback or when you overhear things about you that are inaccurate. Being open to comments and listening to constructive criticism is a sign of maturity and professionalism.

Filter your comments
To avoid putting your foot in your mouth, think carefully before speaking. No matter how angry you are or how sloppy someone else’s work is, hold back. Watch what you say and whom you say it to.

Look the part
Dress appropriately and speak well. Know the corporate policies and lingo. Be prepared for meetings and be sure your workspace looks organized.

3- They think you’re the office clown

Shut up
You’re there to work so stop telling jokes and trying to make people laugh. There’s plenty of time for humor over a beer after work. When your colleagues pressure you to entertain them, put the focus on someone else. “I can’t think of anything funny today. How about telling your joke, Charlie?” deflects the attention on to someone else without alienating anyone.

Laugh less
It’s great to be known as an open and fun-loving kind of guy…Read more here

Author: Edward Chalmers

For more articles like this, see AskMen UK

After you have explored how to change people’s perception of you at work, don’t forget to leave a comment below on how else you can change other people’s perception of you at work .

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Founder, Catherine's Career Corner. The career site empowering and inspiring ambitious candidates of all ages and professions to work smarter on their careers.

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