Five ways to change negative perceptions at work

“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.”
~ C.G. Jung ~

Cassidy had overheard some snide comments. She knew people were making snap judgements, based on gossip, about her that just weren’t true. How could she change negative work perceptions and get her co-workers to think more positively about her?

She knew she was a good team player and worked hard for the company. What did she need to do to help others see her in this light? In her mind, she reviewed the negative comments.

  1. No backbone. Hadn’t she stood up for the idea in the meeting? But the person who said that wasn’t at the meeting. He had seen her agreeing with the boss on several other positions.

    Cassidy thought of herself as a team player. She collaborated well with others. She decided she would be more visible in both the collaboration and the support she gave others. In her written communications— that would certainly go to her critic— she would be clear with her reasoning both when she agreed and when she disagreed on a topic.
  2. Doesn’t speak up or share. Cassidy recognized that she often was the quiet one at meetings. As an introvert, sometimes it took time to think about an idea. She didn’t want to speak until she’d considered all the angles. By that time, others had already said what she planned to say.

    Again, Cassidy felt her written communications could help change that negative perception. She also decided she could go to meetings better prepared. She could consider possible ideas and processes and come up with opinions she could share to generate the discussion.
  3. Dominates the meetings. On the other hand, Cassidy thought Jerold talked way too much. She didn’t get room to share her ideas. As she considered, she realized those negative feelings weren’t 100% true. Jerold thought he had great ideas… and he did.

    But she would have a better perception of him if he would pause longer and give others a chance to add their voice. Or better yet, if they had a system of going around the table and letting each person add to the discussion.
  4. Doesn’t really add value to the company. That one hurt! Negative perceptions like that could push her out of her job. Cassidy though of herself as modest. She didn’t go around bragging all the time.

    However, she realized she needed to be more open about what she was accomplishing. It was important she let her boss and her co-workers know exactly what she was working on, the effort she was putting into it and the results she was producing.
  5. Narrow perspective. Cassidy had been with the company long enough to know how they wanted things done. Maybe it did look like she didn’t think outside the box. But to her it made sense to stay focused on what had worked successfully in the past.

    Cassidy decided to be more open to looking at other ideas. She could be open to reviewing their merits and see how they meshed with the companies goals.

Cassidy worked hard to change the negative perceptions she’d heard in the office. She was pleased to hear more recently some very positive comments about her work and presence in the company.

If you want to change your perception in your workspace, connect with Joel for his career advancement coaching. He has a proven method for success.

Talkback:
Have you had to deal with negative comments or perceptions? How did you handle it?

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