Senior management regularly extolled Susan’s achievements. They often suggested that other team members emulate her as a way to build their careers. Besides receiving an award for being last year’s most valuable player, she is consistently invited to present at key meetings and this year she is playing a special role in the company’s charity campaign.
While Susan has management’s respect, she doesn’t have the trust and respect of her peers who see her through very different eyes.
Your reputation consists of a series of incisive moments. Some moments are small yet add up incrementally while bigger moments are more noticeable and get greater ink or airtime.
When you look through the lens of what you’re putting out there, others are forming perceptions of you based on everyday moments along with the things that you want them to see. Delivering a brand message to the media or being part of a company video is positioning – it frames what you want them to see.
However, that’s only a percentage of what you are putting out there. The grand moments may have more notoriety, but it is the everyday moments that factor into how others perceive you. It’s what people see when you are participating in one to one conversations, and small, informal meetings.
Influencing others is not limited to what you want others to see. It’s what you reveal when the team is receiving kudos and whether you claim them or share them. It’s how you handle mistakes and setbacks and whether you claim your share or blame others. Based on your deliverables, are you considered good or bad news to those whose accountabilities are connected to yours?
Being able to influence at all levels is increasingly important for career building.
As a coach, I find perception management is an excellent way to help my clients handle change and transition issues. The surprising thing is that most people by mid-career have not seen themselves on video except in a presentation or personal video. They have little idea how their everyday moments are fueling others perceptions of them.
As long as we have change and transition happening, you will need well-developed influence abilities. Hard work is merely the price of entry today. If you can’t influence and bring others along with you, you will be sidelined until you learn how. It takes influence to create commitment, gain support or feed critical decisions.
What’s fueling others perceptions of you?
How do others value your input?
To what degree do you exert legitimate influence?