Self-Perception And Its Importance In Communication

Perception of one’s self, perception of one’s superior and the perception that your superior has of you are all things to be considered as barriers to upwards communication.

Self-Image

Perception of one’s self or your ‘self-image’ is a crucial factor when communicating with superiors. A positive self-image gives us confidence and allows us to converse with conviction. This approach is developed and refined over a number of years and becomes ingrained into our personality such that it becomes very difficult to accept anything that conflicts with this. As such this can be a significant barrier to effective communication.

Perception of one’s Superior

We naturally assume that our superiors know better than we do. They generally have the experience, authority and pay to set them socially apart from ourselves. This image of our superiors can influence the level of confidence we approach them with. Are the superior’s priorities the same as ours? Will the superior actually listen and take action on my message? Will the Superior perceive the message as I intended it? Social and official distance can raise a difficult barrier which can be very difficult to overcome.

Our Superiors perception of us

In addition to the image we have of superiors and them (seemingly!)  knowing better than we do due to their position and experience, our superiors often develop this image of themselves too. Because they have this image of themselves, they can often dismiss the suggestions, communications of younger, newer members of staff whose ideas might have actually been valid and very useful in terms of product or service development. This is referred to as ‘Status Block’ and seeks to maintain the status quo in communication and line-management terms.

Perceptions are an integral part of the communication process – the key is while being aware of their importance having the candour to challenge them for an improved product or service offer.

Good Luck!

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