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Impression Confessions

When do you think you started managing your impression?

By Karen D. Kaufman, MSOD

When I ask this question in company seminars, I get a variety of answers from high school, grade school, first job…really? As I have reflected on this question myself, I started managing my impression when I realized that as a young child I could influence my parents in different ways, some more effective than others ….. crying, being cute, asking for what I wanted nicely, apologizing when necessary and even being bossy or taking control.

In time I found out and maybe you did too that my strategies had to change or certainly evolve to be “situation appropriate” as I entered the business world. If we don’t examine our natural tendencies especially under stress, our worst behaviors can come out. What have you learned? How has your approach changed?

The following are the Kaufman Six Principles of Impression Management that our clients use to view their current impression… under a new lens.

Because you are never perceived in a neutral way you are always making an impression.

Success is determined by the perceptions created in the mind of yourself and others.

Impression Management can be learned through goal-directed activities.

Impression Management is a prerequisite for meaningful relationships

By managing your impression, you manage the relationship. 

When you alter your impression, you alter your relationships.

Have an impression confession? email kk@kpartners.com. To find out more about Impression Management, or to offer Impression Management for Leaders as a supplement to your leadership program, call Karen Kaufman at 215-592-9709.

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