Tim Gunn, from Bravo TV Project Runway and Tim Gunn’s Guide to Style once said:
“Remember: You cannot control how you are perceived, only how you are presented.”
I believe you have more power over people’s perceptions of you than you imagine.
Perception – or how you perceive a situation or a person, is a basic human action, and occurs subconsciously based on cave man days genetics as well as on the filters you’ve created throughout the course of your life. These filters help you make decisions quickly, make judgements quickly, protect you from legitimate harm, but they are also not always accurate. We make judgements based on people’s body language and initial site of them before they even speak. You can say ‘Don’t judge a book by it’s cover’, but we do it all day, every day. It may not be right, it may not be fair, but we are all doing it. Your weight, your color, your hair, your clothes, your posture, your eyes, how you move, the words you use….the brain’s little ‘google’ algorithms are processing data against filters and feelings and neural connections to determine whether what is in front of them is friend or foe, trustworthy or not, like us or not, etc.
So back to Tim Gunn, and controlling how you are presented. By taking calculated measures you have more power over how you are perceived than you may think. Your goal is to get someone to engage with you, to see you are worth talking to, worth hiring, worth getting to know better, and to get them past the initial perceptions & filters. Knowing all the above, you can use it to your advantage. Marketing people do it all time right? The use of colors, catchy phrases, hooking you by appealing to a need or want….all mechanisms to get you to spend a few more seconds connecting with a product. Getting you to judge a book by its cover so the message can be transmitted to you.
How about taking advantage of people judging you by using subtle cues to get them past immediate judgments? By making simple efforts from your personal presentation (the next post) to a coordinated effort with your online presentation, you can buy yourself some more time to connect with someone. This is not at all to hide who you are, or to conform. It is using the knowledge of basic behavior to get you past immediate inaccurate judgments, and into a few more minutes for delivering more useful information about yourself. Get the concept so far? In the next few posts, we will be presenting various ways for you to consciously up your marketing techniques.
The power of your image is under your control, so let’s explore how you can make minor modifications in your personal presentation, and online on LinkedIn, your website, on Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Google +, etc.