When did you first start managing your impression?

When I ask this question in company seminars, I get a variety of answers: in high school, grade school, at my first job.

Really?

When I reflected on this question myself, I realized that I started managing my impression as a young child. I learned that I could influence my parents in different ways–some more effective than others! — like 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.

Following are the Kaufman Six Principles of Impression Management that our clients use to view their current impression through 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 your mind and the minds of 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 relationship.

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?