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Nurture positive perceptions February 9, 2009

Posted by Darth Sidious in Career Management.

Perceptions are everything…

There is no reality, it’s only what people perceive. Perceptions are formed by what people see and hear (vs. researching the raw data). Even data is easily manipulated to manage perceptions (e.g. squishing a line chart horizontally makes the peaks and valleys look more drastic). One study showed that those who work in the office vs. telecommuter counter parts were often paid more or promoted more often because the face time affected perceptions (vs. the actual results).

That’s how Anakin Skywalker came to the dark side. The Jedi Council wouldn’t promote him to a Jedi Master, even though he was given considerable responsibility and skill wise he was in the top 5% of those on the Council itself. Although the Council’s intentions were good, Anakin perceived this as disrespect (which then made it easy for me to milk that perception and get him to wipe them all out).

So… here’s the thing. It takes months of hard work to form a positive perception, and it takes only a day to destroy it (via one bad event, e.g. missing a deadline). So once you there, you need to maintain it. This includes your perception with your teammates, boss, customers, etc…

Darth Sidious



1. Roshan Amadoru - February 10, 2009

yes. i knw what this means.. i’ve personally experience this situation where i reached somewhat good position but yet couldnt keep up with the performance.

but this actually has two sides.. this totally depends on the nature of work you get…

for an example earlier i got somewhat manageable amount of work and now its more larger than that so it goes beyond the capacity i could handle but yet the management expects to keep up with the performance no matter what the workload is and expect to complete everything on time and then when the person is saturated to the maximum with his performance and that’s it and here he gets a bad reputation..

i believe maintaining is important but sometimes its not practical. i dont know.. just some thought i had while i was reading the article.. but anyway, good job with your writing.. 🙂 looks like i’m gonna subscribe to your RSS 😉

2. Darth Sidious - February 11, 2009

@ Roshan – Thx for the kudos.

I hear you, and results do speak for themselves. But don’t let that be the ONLY thing that does the speaking. There are only 24hrs in a day, and there is a physical limitation to how many hours you can work. So you can improve the speed/efficiency within the same time frame, which is good, but that can only be improved upon incrementally.

So you need to play the non-factual piece to perceptions. Unfortunately it’s more of an art than a science – but simple communication is the key. Posting frequent status, screen capping your work before it’s done to show evidence of progress, etc… that maintains/increases the perception that you’re actually getting MORE done (even though you’re working your usual max capacity).

3. Roshan Amadoru - February 11, 2009

@Darth – Good point.. thanks for the tips.. i should be trying it and see how well it works out.. 😉 i will let you know if it helps me or not!!! i want our Jedi council to promote me to a Jedi Master.. lets see how it goes…

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