Sunday, September 2, 2012

Mind Control???

Once upon a time... ok so it was probably 8 yrs ago or so, I started a new job. They were big on co-worker relations-  they did personality tests in training, work games, department parties, etc. One day during training, I was pulled out of class by the HR woman who had recruited me. In a private conversation, she addressed a behavior I had that wasn't necessarily bad, but it bothered the others in class.

She said, "You need to manage other people's perceptions of you."

That pissed me off!! That's not possible- how can I possibly control what others think?

But I knew she wasn't a stupid woman- she didn't get where she was by demanding the unreasonable.

"You need to manage other people's perceptions of you."

Ok... what is this "other people's perceptions of you"..?

It's your reputation... and that IS your business. There are a lot of industries where everything is about reputation. If your reputation becomes sullied, you're out!

And what is reputation based on?

What you do, what you say.. and how you do it, how you say it... and that is TOTALLY under your control. You decide what your standards are. You decide if you act w/integrity to your chosen standards and values. You decide how you interact with and treat others. You decide what words you use with others, what tone you employ.

Your business, your responsibility, your control.

These were the thoughts went through my mind over the course over the next couple days, weeks.

Since then, I've thought about this a lot. I try to look at myself and try to see what others see. If I can see that, then I have a starting point for managing what others think of me.

Do I come across as a know-it-all? Sometimes. Am I ok with that? If not, what can I do about it?

Do people think I'm mean or abrasive or harsh? Again, sometimes. Is that ok? If not, how do I soften my approach?

Do I see any other qualities in myself that are off-putting? Am I ok with it? What can I do to fix it, to change my behavior or mindset to be less awkward, less harsh, less selfish, more kind, more pleasant, more capable, more humble.

What kinds of things are you working on?

(PS- And please post comments here, so that other readers can see it. Thanks!)


  1. It doesn't matter what you do. Someone's going to think you should've done it better.

    Ask me how I know in my profession.

    This is why I refer to HR as "Hell with fluorescent lighting" and led by the "good idea fairy" - where ideas and practices are grounded in theology and theory and never in reality - and then they fire you for not being able to live up to the thoughts in their head. And then they wonder why the company suffers. Then they blame you. And then blame the next person who comes in. I don't have enough bad things to say about HR departments. I'm convinced HR workers will be in hell with a lot of attorneys as well - satirically speaking.

    Part of it is, in my experience, the culture we live in. We live in a fast-food self-centered world where people blame others for their problems. I.E. it's another race's fault I can't find work. It's someone else's fault my idea didn't work. Everyone else needs to respect my coming out of the closet while I trash their religion and call myself tolerant.

    We live in an age where evil is called good and good evil and we don't take responsibility anymore.

    So - maybe they should've done better personality tests and hired better people so you didn't have to do as much managing. Hm?

    People who say things like that...need help. Or English lessons so they understand what they are saying.

    But as for me, I can't really control what people think of me, but I can control what I give them to think about.

    But there does come a time to cut to the chase and say "That's your problem" and "if we got that much time to think about it, I'd say we don't have enough work to do."

    1. True Warrior- but here's what I was getting at: "but I can control what I give them to think about."

      What I do and say, how I do/say it is 100% in my control. But you're right, what they do with it is their deal.