Understanding the Fine Art of Perception in Work and in Life
In one of my favorite shows – Seinfeld – there is an episode where Kramer gets a job working for Murphy Brown as her personal secretary on her TV show. In that episode she asks him if he is familiar with the software the office uses while he pounds on the typewriter – he obviously replies that he is. The reason I have always liked that one is while Murphy Brown enters the office and Kramer is typing on the word processor he is looking all around the office, eating a bagel and carrying on a conversation while continuing to type on the keyboard at an incredible rate. The perception is he is getting some work done but all his actions from eating to looking all around the office show the opposite.
What is the perception that we give off?
It's a good question. How do we show up? As a person or company? Are we aware of the impact of the things we do or say? When a potential applicant comes into our office do they see us working, helpful, engaging, or do they see us talking with fellow employees, lethargic, or unhelpful?
Something as simple as eating lunch at your desk can come off to an applicant wrong – why isn’t that person helping me? This is completely unintended but none-the-less there is a poor perception given. We can’t control every thought someone else might have about us, but depending on how we act and treat them will play a huge role on positive experiences.
Positive feedback and positive word of mouth go a long way in recruiting and in attaining new clients especially in a competitive labor market like the current one. Unemployment is so low and jobs are easy to find due to lack of workforce. We will be much more successful in attracting new employees as they hear they have been dealt with in a fun/professional way. Conversely, bad word-of-mouth seems to travel even quicker and with greater devastation.
I truly believe that the way we treat others will be the way they treat us back.
Kramer is one of the best characters that has been on TV and I love to laugh at all the crazy things he has done. I personally think he nailed the acting job he landed on Murphy Brown. He is a great reminder to me that how we act and what we portray gives a perception to others.
We all need to do our best to make it positive.
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