Leaders Manage Perceptions
Through 3 Filters

Manage-PerceptionsNo matter how clear you think you are as a leader, people don’t always perceive you the way you intend to be perceived. Great leaders learn to manage perceptions.

In social psychologist Heidi Grant Halvorson’s book No One Understands You and What to Do About It (Harvard Business Review Press, 2015), the author reminds us that everyone is subject to being misinterpreted, no matter how sincere and authentic you try to be. Leaders in particular have to deal with filters that listeners use to hear messages.

There are three filters that the audience uses when listening to leaders: trust, power and ego. In my previous post, I discussed the trust filter. Let’s consider the power and ego filters.

The Power Filter

Power changes the way we see other people, especially when there’s a power differential. Read More »

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Leadership Communication and the Trust Filter

Leadership-CommunicationNo matter how clear you think you are as a leader, people don’t always perceive you the way you intend to be perceived. Effective leadership communication requires leaders to manage perceptions by understanding the lenses through which they are viewed. And the trust filter is one of the first and most important you should be aware of.

Social psychologist Heidi Grant Halvorson explains this well in No One Understands You and What to Do About It (Harvard Business Review Press, 2015). We view others through three lenses or filters:

  • Trust
  • Power
  • Ego

When you speak or act, perceivers ask themselves: Read More »

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Leaders Who Manage Perception Bias
Are More “Judgeable”

Perception-BiasHow do you come across to other people? Is what you say the same as what people hear? No matter how clear you think you are as a leader, people don’t always perceive you the way you intend to be perceived. Let’s face it, everyone has perception bias. If you don’t manage perception biases, people will misjudge you.

You may not be very easily “judgeable.” Some of us are more knowable than others. Leaders who are easier to understand deliberately express themselves in ways that encourage more accurate perceptions. Psychologists refer to this as “judgeability.” Read More »

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True or False? Authentic Leaders Don’t Have to Manage Perceptions

Manage-PerceptionsIt’s possible you think you don’t need to manage perceptions. After all, you’re pretty good at communicating and people seem to like you. You express yourself clearly and try to be upfront and genuine with people. What’s the problem?

According to social psychologist and author Heidi Grant Halvorson in her recent book, No One Understands You and What to Do About It, “Statistically speaking, there are only weak correlations between how others see us and how we believe we are seen.”

Without even realizing it, you — like everyone else — are very likely operating under two very flawed assumptions: Read More »

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Great Leaders Excel at Managing Perceptions

Managing-PerceptionsWith any position of leadership authority, you’re likely to experience your words being misinterpreted, misquoted, and taken out of context. Leadership communication and managing perceptions is a huge challenge for most leaders that seems impossible at times.

How do you come across to other people? Is what you say the same as what people hear? Even at the highest levels of leadership of nations and organizations, humans have a surprisingly difficult time communicating their intentions well. Apparently, most of us don’t do a very good job of communicating and managing perceptions of the very people we need to influence.

Without the ability to consistently and accurately telegraph our thoughts and intentions to others, no one can succeed. Once you understand what other people are actually seeing in your words and actions, you will have some power to shape that perception – and to take control of the messages you send. Really great leaders excel at managing perceptions. Read More »

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Leadership Communication:
What’s Said vs. What’s Heard

Leadership-CommunicationAs a leader, how well do you communicate? Have you ever been misunderstood because of things you’ve said taken out of context? It’s a leader’s nightmare.  And a terrifying reality, how warped other people’s perceptions of you can be, despite your best intentions.

Most leaders I meet in my work are excellent communicators. And yet, even they have a difficult time coming across the way they intend. Most of us struggle with this.

Even presidential candidates who have speech writers and spin experts in their corner don’t always come across they way they intend. It’s another election year and already the press is bouncing on outrageous statements from candidates. From the looks of it, we’re in for an entertaining campaign. It’s open season for both the press and candidates to take things out of context and misinterpret to suit their own agendas. Read More »

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Managing Digital Devices:
Use Smart Tech Tools

Information-OverloadI’ve been discussing the deluge of information and our use of digital devices to help manage the flow of content in my posts here. New tech tools pop up all the time, and some help, others only distract.

The Digital Revolution has exploded in the 21st century. By 2012, over 2 billion people used the Internet, twice the number using it in 2007. Cloud computing entered the mainstream by the early 2010s. By 2015, tablet computers and smartphones are expected to exceed personal computers in Internet usage.

This means that everyone is expected to stay abreast of trends and the incessant flow of information. Not everyone does a good job of using digital devices. Read More »

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Digital Distractions:
Are You Lured into Multitasking?

Digital-DistractionsI’m concerned that the digital devices we are using non-stop are only creating more digital distractions. Instead of streamlining the flow of information and saving us time, our phones, tablets, and mobile tools seduce us into thinking we can take in more information and handle it all simultaneously.

I don’t know of anyone, at least among my executive coaching clients, who doesn’t multitask and answer email and review documents while on conference calls, for example. However, the results are mediocre on all fronts. But the temptation to multitask with digital devices is seductive. Read More »

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Digital Distractions: The War for Your Attention

Digital-distractionsAre you letting digital distractions overwhelm you and eat away at your ability to focus and concentrate? Is technology really saving you time and energy —like it’s supposed to do —or is it running rampant, creating distractions and unnecessary work?

I hear these kind of complaints a lot among my coaching clients. Most of us are bombarded by messages, texts, alerts, and buzzed throughout the day with rings, chirps, and dings, making it difficult to focus and concentrate on crucial information. And then, with any slightest urge to procrastinate, we’re never more than a click away from diversion. Read More »

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Use Your Leadership Strengths at Work

Leadership-Strengths-3I’ve been writing about the value of knowing your leadership strengths so you can get more out of your career. If you haven’t taken a strengths assessment yet, do so now. You can find strengths assessments online.

The Gallup Organization identified 34 distinct personal strengths after interviewing 1.7 million professionals over 40 years. Here is a list of identifiable career strengths along with a table to show how each strengths fits into the four domains of leadership strengths. Read More »

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