I have a theory that, if you are stripped of everything: your home, your family, your job… your entire legacy… only then will you really know how you are regarded by others (to paraphrase the Beatles, Will you still love me…). This vision of how I, and Shamrock are perceived, is very important to me. When I walk around our office, I like to share the importance of this vision with my family of employees.
Often, how we see ourselves may be entirely different from how others see us. For example, we may think our jokes are humorous, but others see them as inappropriate. We may see ourselves as detail- oriented, while to others we seem to be a nitpicker. Or, what we think of as self-confidence, others may see as arrogance. You get the picture.
Recently, I read this blog post on biospace, and want to share the link with you (http://www.biospace.com/News-do-you-really-know-how-people-perceive-you/190566). As the post suggests, offer three of your most honest friends and co-workers a list of traits and say, “I need you to mark, in 1-2-3 order (1/most to 3/least), the top three ways I might rub people the wrong way.” Warning: you need to have a thick skin to take the traits test.
Here are a few of the traits you can list (for more traits, check out the above blog post link above, or develop your own list): Arrogant – Needy – Overly Opinionated – Rigid – Passive – Indecisive – Abrupt – Stuffy – Oversensitive. Are you game to try this?
I believe that if you ask typically honest friends and co-workers to do the evaluation you’ll discover recurring themes. If two different people mark “abrupt,” for example, believe them—even if you’re sure you don’t act that way. After you discover how others see you, ask them how much they feel that one or more of these traits negatively impacts how others view you and your success.
If you take this traits test honestly, you’ll likely find out how you’re perceived by others. I’m curious to know what you learn. You can email me, respond anonymously, if you wish, on our Facebook page, or leave an anonymous note on this post. It may make for an interesting discussion. It may even be a life-changer.