Jun 09 2010

Perceptions Are Facts!

What we perceive 

                                        

is what we believe! 

 

Leadership transparency is more than just another fancy management training term. Most employees haven’t a clue about what you really do. Sure, they see you in meetings and hear you on the phone and pay attention to your messages and emails.

Certainly, your people notice your interactions with customers, suppliers and service providers . . . with the community-at-large. But odds are pretty good that if you ask around, you’ll find that very few if any really know or understand how you spend your days.

  So? So the more your employees are in the dark about your comings and goings, the less visibility you afford them, the more likely they are to doubt and mistrust your leadership. It’s human nature to be suspicious of other’s actions when those actions are intentionally hidden or even inadvertently not apparent on the surface.

The harder it is to see and hear what’s happening at the top of an organization, the greater the tendency for organization members to see what they want to see and hear what they want to hear. Imagination creates perceptions. Perceptions trigger rumors. Rumors readily result in perceptions becoming beliefs.

And beliefs become facts! 

So-called “facts” evolve from beliefs which come from perceptions that are triggered by rumors. Rumors are routinely given birth by insecure followers based on their observations of leaders who insist on “playing everything close to the vest” or who frequent the use of “hidden agendas” in their daily routines.

These kinds of rumors have toppled whole companies, whole governments, whole nations. You don’t need those examples listed here; you already know them. A quick check on industry, regional. national, and global news will provide plenty more.

What you may not know is that employees never stop sizing you up — in the workspace, out of the workspace, in the parking lot, on the sidewalk, at community events, in restaurants and stores, at schools and church. It comes with the territory. Business owners and managers are in the spotlight even when they think the lights are out.

The challenge is to gracefully and consistently walk the thin line between A) being totally open and honest with everyone all the time and B) seeking refuge or over-socializing within the ranks.

  In other words, you must always be willing to freely give up information, but — unless company security is at stake — keep your personal opinions to yourself, and always conduct yourself like the example you want to set for others . . . because everything you do and say is an example to others . . .

 . . . and because perceptions are, in the minds of the perceivers, facts. That’s a fact.

Hal@BusinessWorks.US  

Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals! God Bless You. 
“The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!” [Thomas Jefferson] 

Make today a GREAT day for someone!

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