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Executive Training Program

Executive Training Program: Take Control of How Others See You

Great executives influence and lead in deeper, significant ways. These include managing their lives in a way that influences the perceptions of others. Because it’s difficult to know how others see you, an executive training program can be very effective for developing emerging leaders.

The Power of Perception: Reputations Are Built on Perception is a training program for executives that helps them figure out how others see them. Then they can learn how to change their perceptions so they are viewed in the best light.

Why Does Perception Even Matter?

You may think if you just do your job, everything will work out. But those who are perceived to be leadership material get advanced. Those who are seen as “just a good worker” do not.

Surprisingly, most of us have no idea how others view us. We may see ourselves as funny… others see us as obnoxious. We may think we are profound… others view us as boring. Here are some ways you can find out how others think of you.

  • Ask. Be prepared for uncomfortable answers and don’t be defensive. Just say, “Thank you.” or “Could you explain more?”
  • Watch how people act around you. Do they come to you with ideas? Do they include you in important conversations? Do they avoid giving you any work that could be challenging?
  • What do people say about you? Does your boss talk to his boss about you? Do your team members ever praise you to someone else? Do co-workers or clients comment on your actions?

Your Ideal Image
Next, you need to decide how you want others to perceive you. If this were a perfect world, people would look at you and think________________. Fill in the blank. Fill it in as many times as necessary to create your ideal image of yourself.

You might think of terms like: Productive worker, leads with confidence, listens well, cares about my problems and wants to help me, gives insightful answers and solutions, trustworthy and has integrity.

Once you have this ideal image in mind, you need to correlate your actions with this image. Want to be perceived as trustworthy? Make sure you keep confidences, meet deadlines, accept responsibility, and do what you say you will do.

Changing Perceptions
Now that you know how you want others to see you, let’s look at the areas where you can be most influential in getting people to see you in this new way. An executive training program can assist so you act in ways designed to improve people’s perceptions of you.

  • Increase visibility. Volunteer for high impact projects. Seek out the “dirty” jobs that no one else wants to take on—something that’s important to your boss or the company’s bottom line. Seize these untapped opportunities to stand out.
  • Promote yourself. Speak up about the jobs you are doing. Don’t brag, but ensure others are aware of your contributions even as you share praise for teammates. Invite others to join in celebrating your successes or accomplishments.
  • Find cross-functional opportunities. Look for opportunities in other sections that introduce you to more people. Become an expert in an area. Then see about speaking or presenting to groups within or outside the company.
  • Create your personal brand. Work to become associated with value to the company. Seek to act in ways that label you a team player and an insightful leader. Create distinction with a personal byline on emails, a special greeting, or a trademark appearance.

Executive training programs can teach you many things. Perhaps one of the most valuable is to master perception. See how others perceive you and then determine how you ideally want to be perceived. Then work to change your thoughts, actions, and patterns of work to best show your strengths and make yourself more visible. When you can do this, your ideal self will become the image others see when they look at you.

Joel Garfinkle conducts executive training programs to such companies as Accenture, Genentech, Oracle, Cisco, Marriott Hotels, and Bank of America. Contact him directly if you want to learn more about his training programs.

Copyright © 2012 Joel Garfinkle, All Rights Reserved. Joel Garfinkle is recognized as one of the top 50 coaches in the U.S., and the author of 7 books, including Getting Ahead: Three Steps to Take Your Career to the Next Level. He has worked with many of the world’s leading companies, including Google, Deloitte, Amazon, Ritz-Carlton, Gap, Cisco, Oracle, and many more. Subscribe to his Fulfillment at Work Newsletter and receive the FREE e-book, "41 Proven Strategies to Get Promoted Now!"

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