Tech Leadership, In So Many Words … #3 Perception

Andrew Weaver
August 4, 2023

“We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are”  Anais Nin

Perception is often at the core of leadership.
Because no one cares about our real intentions.

To become a successful technology leader you need to acknowledge and understand how perception affects your relationship with other people and from that, your ability to lead.

Key pillars impacting the perceptual process;

– Objective perception is difficult if not impossible
– Every person has their own unique frame of reference
– Interpretation is dependent on factors not always related to the immediate situation
– Energy expended on a task can be relative to our perception of its importance

So how do you bridge the gap between your perception and their reality?

Finding Out, What They Think Of You

If you don’t know how you are perceived, you cannot change things and changing people’s perceptions can only come by understanding their reality and potentially changing your own behaviour.

Feedback is an important but often uncomfortable step to take.
It’s a process that enables you to protect yourself from erroneous perception and to both work and be seen to work empathetically by considering different points of view.

You have to be open to constructive criticism, helping to make sure your leadership actions match your words and improving how you communicate the reasoning behind your decisions.

Consider also the impact of body language and the science of influence.

One small step towards gaining more influence with an individual is the use of mirroring.
When you mirror someone’s body language and words, the other person tends to engage more because they get the sense you’re doing the same.

It’s how we’re wired so use it.

Influence is a powerful tool in breaking down communication barriers and getting people to understand more about your motivations.

If you want a deeper dive into this topic, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion is the book to read.

Want to learn more?

We cover this and other communication topics within our executive leadership course, The Digital MBA for Technology Leaders.

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