Perception Is Everything

Someone recently came to me dejected because peers he admires and respects are not reciprocating. My friend was very uncertain how this could be. He is smart, good at what he does, hard-working, genuine, honest, open, would bend over backwards for people he cares about, and is a great person.  The problem is that he has not looked in the mirror to see how others see him.

The challenge is that we are all being judged based on how we behave, make decisions, who we interact with, who we know, where we go, what we consider to be fun, where we live, what we own, successes,  and mistakes made.  People watch and create a perception of us. Based on this perception they decide if they want us in their network, to be our friend or enemy, to do business with us, to introduce us to others, to send business our way, to emulate us, to talk about us, or to stay away from us.

Often I see people stand out for the wrong reasons. They

  • Are loud
  • Dress inappropriately
  • Are not respectful to others
  • Consistently make bad decisions and don’t learn from them
  • Are selfish
  • Do not keep their word
  • Are known for paying vendors late and fail to communicate with those vendors properly
  • Act immaturely
  • Consistently say inappropriate things to the wrong people at the wrong times
  • Regularly lose their temper publicly
  • Talk about people behind their backs
  • Do not follow through

Whether someone decides to trust or respect a person is really a perception of that person. It is much easier to lose someone’s trust or respect because of some way we behave or act.  Depending on the person, the ratio may be 20 to 1 for the number of times we have to do things right to the number of things we do wrong for their positive perception of us to stay intact.  So it is important that one look in the mirror and determine how one’s action may be perceived by others.  Will that lead to the perception one wants.  Many times the answer is no, as was my friend’s case.

Howard Shore is a business growth expert who works with companies that want to maximize their growth potential by improving strategy, enhancing their knowledge, and improving motivation. To learn more about him or his firm please contact Howard Shore at 305.722.7213 or