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Entrepreneurs: Perceptions

by Miki Saxon

http://www.flickr.com/photos/gagillphoto/3892952235/

Perceptions rule.

The things you say and do hold no reality other than the way they are perceived by your audience, which includes employees, customers and investors.

Everything people hear, see or do is filtered through their MAP (mindset, attitude, philosophy™) and they a respond according to their perceptions, whether they reflect the actual intent or not.

In other words, what one person says and the other guy hears may have nothing to do with each other.

That’s why it’s critical to the success of your venture to actively manage the perceptions of all stake-holders.

Perceptions are a constantly moving target that are distorted by a variety of circumstances—from something as minor as feeling out of sorts to global economic turmoil; as a result the communications that were understood today may not work tomorrow.

Experts constantly bandy such words as ‘authentic’, ‘honest’, ‘sincere’ and similar terms in talking about how to change perceptions, when, in fact, there are only two things working together that actually accomplish perceptional change.

Those two things are actions and time.

If over time actions don’t back up whatever is said, then perceptions won’t change.

The greater the change the greater the cynicism as to how real and how sustainable it actually is, so don’t expect instant buy-in.

Communicate what you’re going to do and then do it consistently over and over forever—and watch perceptions change.

Flickr image credit: Gregory Gill

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