Perception management is the art of consciously being able to perceive what you are doing and its impact on others. Everyone can practice this skill just like any other skill. Perception management enhances one’s ability to influence and change that perception in any given situation. We should not confuse this art with that of deception.
Every successful lawyer has a command over how people perceive them. Perception management is the ability to understand the effect that one has on others. When your communication is clear to people around you, they see you and understand you the way you project yourself. It influences people positively. For everyone in the legal world, this is an important skill.
Guidelines for Perception Management
- Emotions play a vital role in communication. But do not allow them to control your judgment. Never conclude any situation when high on emotions. Perception management is about consciously understanding what you are conveying to others. You also need to understand what others think of you. The essence of the actual meaning and intent behind the words is changed if the judgment is made based on emotions.
- Do not form opinions or jump to conclusions immediately. Allow the situation to develop and conclude and then try to understand it. Look at the situation objectively. Mere arguing is not perception management. Understanding the situation non-judgmentally and then forming the image of what you want to convey and then presenting it is the practice of perception management. Even if it is not done the same day, always communicate at the right time by setting a clear context.
- Never lie while using this art. Deception may be the easy route to win an argument, it always backfires in the long run. Deception is equivalent to a lie. Perception management helps win fair and square in the legal profession amid all other factors.
To practice the art of perception management, begin by listening. Listening goes far beyond hearing. Understand the true essence of the words spoken gives an edge to perceive the actual context of the situation. Take the effort to choose what you wish to convey.
A short story
In a specific city, a blind man was sitting on the pavement with a sign beside him that read-“ I am blind. Help me”. He was asking for money in his hat.
Few passers-by helped him with coins and currency notes. Many ignored him.
After a while, a lady stopped by and read the sign. She requested the blind man if she could write something on the signboard as a help. The blind man obliged. She wrote the following – “It is a beautiful day. But I can’t see it!”
Imagine what happened next. The hat was full of money by the end of the day.
Always take the effort to prepare what you choose to convey. Spontaneous response is good but preparation far supersedes it and helps turn the odds against your favor. Readiness helps you rooted to your cause and takes you where you intend to arrive. This awareness assists you deal with any situation with maturity hence maintaining a balance between you and the situation at hand.