Perception V Reality
In his book ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’, the late Dale Carnegie tells the story of Two Gun Crowley. This is a man who was sent to the electric chair for shooting dead a officer. Crowley said of himself ‘Under my coat is a weary heart, but a kind one – one that would do nobody any harm.’
It was a gentle reminder by a new friend of mine, that people’s perception is their reality. We were discussing an acuity he has about how people see him. So entrenched was he in his belief, that his percipience could well be marred. However, the constant repetition of his perception further in-grains his belief and further encourages others to accept this as the truth.
It doesn’t take much to build a reputation that you don’t want but a lot of effort to build a reputation that you do. It is worth recognising that people will trust whatever good you say about yourself when and only when it is backed up by appropriate actions. This is where Two Gun Crowley messed up. Whereas, your own self-deprecation may be believed and taken as the truth if you repeat it enough.
Moreover, people are happy to take the word of others, gossip, even tittle-tattle when the stories are colourful. Plus they might add their own embellishments for good measure.
Reputation – it is a perception thing, and it’s the owners reality: watch closely now