You make contact with people all the time. In the emails you write, in the phone calls you take or initiate and in random and not so random meetings, lunches, projects you are involved in.
When you meet someone for the first time, in person, on paper or over the phone, an impression of who you are is created. If you are mindful, you take care to craft an impression that is close to the one you seek to create of yourself.
If you are not, then what happens is that other people see someone that doesn’t match the perception you have of yourself.
When this perception mismatch happens, and it’s further compounded by things like differences in opinion, difficulties in communication, disagreements about issues, then this perception mismatch makes this a little more complicated than it already is.
What you need to keep in mind is that :-
- the person you see yourself as is not always the same person that others perceive;
- you may make clear what you think, feel and believe but that may or may not come across as such to others;
- everyone sees things through the lens of their personal experience and their worldview. This is impacted by all the various situations and relationships they have been in, how they have managed these and how others have sought to manage them or the situation itself.
- if you think carefully about the impression you’re trying to create, if there’s an end goal to your first contact, if you put yourself in the other person’s shoe – in short, if you have covered all the angles and generally been mindful about the process and end goal – you are sure to make a much better impression of yourself than if you had not done so.
- this is further complicated by our digital footprint – the blog posts we write, the comments we place in forums, our facebook rants that we so openly share – and how these various little nuggets come together – whether we like it or know about it – to add more complexity to this issue.
- there’s frequently only one good way to ensure that there’s a match between the impression you seek to create and the one you’ve actually created. And that is to simply ask the person directly what they thought.
Do you dare?
What will you discover?
Will you agree with what you discover?
What will you do about what you discover?