Reality: It’s a Matter of Perception

22 September 2015

You do realise that people are constantly watching and making judgements of you, right….? That every single thing you do is remembered by somebody….? They judge you by your behaviour, not by your intentions. For example, if you are someone who likes to share your knowledge, skills and experience, you might be perceived as instructive and knowledgeable, or you might be considered to be an arrogant know-it-all. If you are a quieter and more introverted character in a meeting, you might be perceived as thoughtful, or alternatively as someone who is not willing to speak up and express an opinion.

Perceptions are important in both business and in your personal life. Once someone forms a perception, it is difficult to change. Why is this the case? Because they stop actively gathering new information once they have a formed an impression. This is why it takes a long time to change perceptions. Once a judgement has been made, based on our own feelings and opinions, it first becomes perception and then becomes our own reality.

Think of someone in your life that you really dislike. Have you always disliked them? The chances are the answer is Yes. However, if it is No, then they will have probably behaved in a way which radically altered your perception of them. And the same is true for those you may initially have disliked….

Mike Myatt, Chief Executive Officer of N2growth says that: “Attitudes, perspectives, and positions can in many cases be born out by facts. However, they can also be little more than emotional or philosophical beliefs that are far from factual statements”. In my experience, it is important to keep your perceptions to yourself. Those around you may not share the same perceptions as you. Who am I to try to alter the impressions of others by disclosing my own perceptions to them?

My perception is my reality. I know what I see in the picture (above, left). You may see two faces. You may see a vase. Two sides of a coin. Two different perceptions. Neither one more real than the other.

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