How much of our reality is based on our perception? We base our decisions on what we know and how we feel. Have you ever wondered what someone else thinks of you? We all have. What we are really asking is “what is their reality?”
So much of our opinions of others around us, is driven by our perception of them. How do they interact with us? How do they interact with others? What do people say about them? What do they say about themselves? These are just a few factors that we evaluate when we form a perception of someone and when someone forms a perception of us. Valid or not, these perceptions become a foundation for building (or destroying) relationships, both personally and professionally.
“So how do we get someone to like us?” That’s not really the question that we need to be driving at, it’s more about “How do we get someone to really know us?” We are all good and smart people deep down, but it’s getting that perception in others’ eyes that really helps foster trust and long lasting relationships.
We can all get up in front of a room of people and deliver the same message, even with the same words, but it’s our style and how we deliver that message that really drives people to form a perception about you. What is your body language saying? What tone do you use when speaking? Do you look someone in the eye or up at the ceiling? All these non-verbal communication patterns will help dictate someone’s perception of us, regardless of the message being delivered.
The ability to “read a room” or understand what communication methods work best for your audience will certainly give you a leg up in establishing that relationship and letting them form a positive perception of you. Our ability to recognize what works and what doesn’t is what allows us to change our style of communication to match that of our audience to help them really understand who we are and what we are all about. Once we are able to do that, the ability to form trusting positive relationships becomes exponentially easier.
Each of us has a specific style of communication. We don’t need to become “fake” or someone else in order to adjust our style, but we need to be sensitive to how other people build perceptions and ensure that who we really are is who they really see.