When Does Perception Become Reality?

Perception is Reality

Perception as defined by Webster is impressions, powers of observation and interpretation.

Perceptions develop as a result of a complex combination of factors including concrete experiences, cultural beliefs, and social influences. Perceptions are often treated as “the truth” from those who hold them, even if the perception is inaccurate, therefore making them very powerful. Perceptions can be changed, although not easily, through honest dialogue and changed behaviors.

How important and critical is this for a leader, manager, and family member to understand?

By growing stronger in the areas of your proficiency and passion, you help the family and the business you are serving to be healthy and effective. Being aware of blind spots helps you to avoid costly and needless mistakes that can harm the family and the business. We all have areas in our lives where improvement is needed. Without transparency and humility on your part, and honesty and integrity on the part of others who evaluate you, your strengths are likely to fall short of their highest potential and your weaknesses will undoubtedly hinder you.

Without feedback, we never really know how we are doing and are left to make our own assessment and interpretation. Such ambiguity can create stress and often results in discouragement and pain. Some people overestimate their performances and the appropriateness of their behaviors. Others underestimate how they are doing and wonder if they are failing.

What is it we don’t know or can’t see? What areas of our lives are we blind to but that others can see? When such areas have the potential or seriously begin to hinder us personally or relationally, and/or have a negative impact on others, we need to consider change.

However, perceptions do have their limitations. Perceptions are simply cognitive pictures that are stored in the brain. Honest input from others can affirm a leader’s strengths and gifts and confront a leader’s weaknesses and gaps.

There is a way to gain an understanding of perceptions others have of us in our business, family, and organizations. I am excited to share with you The Leader 360.

The Leadership 360 has significant value over other types of assessment instruments because it provides the recipient with perceptions from others who have actually observed them in the context of real-life.

A Leader should reflect upon the feedback and determine if changes are appropriate. Because it is sometimes hard to make sense of conflicting feedback and because evaluators are also often blind to their own weaknesses when providing feedback, Leaders need to utilize the counsel of other wise individuals.

If you would like to learn more about the Leader 360, contact me or call my office and request a copy of Frequently Asked Questions.

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