April 17, 2017
Want People to Understand You? Here's How

Most of us want to be understood, to know that people "get us." Yet we may frequently feel as if no one does, especially at work. We may think that those we lead view us as cold or calculating, or we may think that our boss has totally misjudged us. 
I coached a manager whose team had long been troubled. He was brought in with the charge to make sure that things turned around, yet many of his efforts were viewed as "micro-management", and his personality was perceived as "making people uncomfortable." Fortunately, he was one of those people who was extremely coachable and who tried hard to implement any changes I suggested. Unfortunately, he struggled with a team reluctant to give up their first impressions. Yet with perseverance, the team began to see beyond his social awkwardness and move toward acceptance of his leadership style. 

"...you have to actively change your behavior - 
usually over a long period of time - 
in order to revise someone's understanding."
If you also want people to see you differently, you will have to be dedicated to the cause.

What Should You Do?  
Merely announcing a change rarely works, as stressed by psychologist and researcher Heidi Grant Halvorson. https://hbr.org/video/4471480542001/how-to-change-peoples-perception-of-you
Instead, you have to actively change your behavior - usually over a long period of time - in order to revise someone's understanding. In addition, Halvorson asserts, power actually changes the brain to make people who have power over us use short cuts and even stereotypes in order to quickly understand the people they lead.
If you're the person with less power, you'll need to work hard to schedule enough face time and actively demonstrate the behavior you want your boss to see. If you're on the other side of the equation, you too need to commit to take action over a long period of time before your staff will see you differently.

Did You Know?

All of our leadership and management classes focus on action: taking the steps you need to make sure that people see you the way you want to be seen.

For more information, call or write us at: 303-216-1020 or [email protected]

Read Lynne's books on how to handle tough conversations and learn to tackle any topic 
with sensitivity and smarts. 


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