Article, Perceptions – What are your perceptions? by Paul Coppcutt :

Do You Really Know Who You Are – Or What Others Think of You?
Step 2 – Perceptions – What are your perceptions?
by Paul Copcutt

As an experienced executive who has either conducted many interviews or been on the receiving end of a few tough interview questions, you should be well prepared for the somewhat over used interview question – “If I were to ask your best friend/closest work colleague to describe you, what would they say?”

But if you were able to take the interviewer through a detailed analysis of others perceptions of you in a positive and informative manner do you think that the impression you leave will be much stronger?

All good marketers at some point in a brands development look for feedback, usually in the form of a focus group – and it should be no different for you in your own career. It is critical to know how others perceive you for a number of reasons:

1. Are your beliefs in how you are perceived consistent with what people actually think about you?

2. Is there consistency amongst different groups who you interact with? Do your friends and relatives see a different you to the one that peers and colleagues see for example.

3. If your next employer is going to go to some of these people for references (either officially or unofficially) its important that you are at least armed with some information to counter any potential negative feedback on your leadership style.

4. If there are some glaring shortfalls at least being aware of them can help you understand how you impact others, even if you decide not to do anything about it.

Start by getting a mix of friends, colleagues, managers and ask them for objective but honest feedback on what they think of you. You can ask them to;

1. List the top 6 attributes that best describe me
2. What are my greatest strengths?
3. What is my greatest weakness?
4. Any other comments

To get some worthwhile data you want to be choosing at least 3 or 4 people from each group, ideally more. When you have the information collate by grouping and see if there are patterns to what is being said by the members of that group.

Then look to see if there is consistency between groups – if there is that is an indication of a strong brand, if not there might be some work needed on your brand.

One of the major disadvantages with this approach is that you are ‘openly’ asking for feedback, which some people might be reluctant to give and they may not be as honest as they might be if the questions were anonymous.

One such tool that allows you to ask for and receive anonymous feedback all via e-mail is the 360 Reach tool that also has additional questions related to peoples perceptions of you as various brands – cars, cereals etc.

This can provide very rich data beyond the more clear feedback in the types of questions above, because people will explain their choices. So for example one person may choose Oatmeal to describe you because it is healthy and good or you, on the other hand someone may have chosen it because its bland and stodgy!

Much more can be done with the feedback, even to the point of lifting comments to use as mini-testimonials or quotes in other job marketing tools you are using.

Higher Bracket has secured a special pricing and analysis package exclusively for members, if you are interested in utilizing this leading edge career tool simply e-mail and we will send you more information.

Gathering feedback on peoples perceptions of your brand is the second step in the 7 P’s of Personal Branding.

Paul Copcutt is founder of Square Peg Solutions, and excels as a personal brand consultant for professional service providers and business owners who are missing out on great business opportunities because they are not clear on who what they have to offer, who they should be talking to or how to get their message out there.


Newsletter Signup form

* First Name
Last Name
* E-Mail Address
* Province
* Job Field

Resume Critique
Canadian Salary Reports
Article Archives
Links To Career Professionals
Sign Up Now