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How do people experience you?

June 23, 2009

Think about the first time you heard your own voice on tape.
Odds are, your initial reaction was, "Is THAT what I sound like?"

Now think about the first time you watched yourself on video.
Odds are, your initial reaction was, “Is THAT what I look like?”

Don’t worry. That’s a pretty normal response.

Most of us – when given an honest, accurate reflection of the way we present ourselves to the others – are startled by our own lack of self-awareness.

We can’t believe that’s actually us. And not just on audio and video. For example, think about some of these other silent dialogues:

  • "Did I really say that?"
  • "Is that really the way I came off?"
  • "I didn’t realize I was making you feel that way."
  • "I had no idea that’s what people thought of me…"

Ever said one of those to yourself before?

I know I have. Probably once this week already. And I’d be willing to bet that most people have too. 

These kinds of perceptions exist in your “Blind Spot.” Cognitive psychologists Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham defined this term in 1955 as, “Aspects of ourselves that others see, but we are not aware of.”

And so, the challenge becomes making a concerted effort to unalienate yourself from your truth.

Because too many of us – and even I’m guilty of this on occasion – demonstrate a complete and utter unwillingness to understand (1) How other people experience us, and (2) How other people experience themselves in relation to us.

And the danger of this pattern of behavior is that it prevents people from asking questions of, listening to, learning from and getting to know you.

Not good.

So, maybe it’s time to run honest self-appraisal. Maybe it’s time to get bitten by the bug of self-awareness. Or, as Dilbert cartoonist Scott Adams reminds us, "Awareness means recognizing your illusions for what they are."

HERE’S THE REALITY: The only judgment people can make – the only impression their unconscious mind can form – is how interacting with you makes them FEEL.

And ultimately, it doesn’t matter what YOU think, it matters what THEY remember.
So, I’m challenging you to (honestly) ask yourself four questions...
Click here for the complete self-evaluation!

LET ME ASK YA THIS...How do people experience you?
LET ME SUGGEST THIS...For the list called, "37 Personal Leadership Questions Guaranteed to Shake Your Soul," send an email to me, and you win the list for free! 

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur
scott@hellomynameisscott.com