Managing the perception process - Organization Behavior

Successful managers understand the importance of perception as an influencing factor on behavior and they act accordingly. They are aware of perceptual distortions and also know that perceptual differences are likely to exist in any situations. As a result, they true to make decisions and take action with a true understanding of the work situation as it is viewed by all persons concerned. A manager who is skilled in the perception process will;

1)     Have a high level of self-awareness: individual needs, experience, and expectations can all affect perceptions. The successful manager known this and is able to identify when he or she is inappropriately distorting a situation because of such perceptual tendencies.

2)     Seek information from various sources to confirm or disconfirm personal impressions of a decision situation: the successful manager minimizes the biases of personal perceptions by seeking out the viewpoints of others. These insights are used to gain additional perspective on situations and the problems or opportunities they represent.

3)     Be empathetic-that is, be able to see a situation as it is perceived by other people: different people will define the same situation somewhat differently. The successful manager rises above personal impressions to understand problems as seen by other people.

4)     Influence perceptions of other people when they are drawing incorrect or incomplete impressions of events in the work setting: people act in terms of their perceptions. The successful manager is able to influence the perceptions of others so that work events and situations are interpreted as accurately as possible and to the advantage of all concerned.

5)     Avoid common perceptual distortions that bias our views of people and situations: these distortions include the use of stereotypes and halo effects, as well as selective perception and projection. Successful managers are self-disciplined and sufficiently self-aware so that the adverse impacts of these distortions are minimized.

6)     Avoid inappropriate attributions: everyone has a tendency to try and explain why events happened the way did or why people behaved as they did. The successful manager is careful to establish the real reasons why things happen and avoid quick or inappropriate attributions of casualty.

7)     Diversity management programmers: as firms globalize themselves, diversity management assumes greater relevance. The challenge for corporate executives' id to leverage the benefits of this diversity while minimizing the perceptual and behavioral problems that tends to accompany heterogeneity.

OB experts have designed diversity management programmers. Typically, these training programmers serve two purposes. First, they communicate the value of diversity. Second, these programmers help participants become aware of their personal biases and give them more accurate information about people with different backgrounds, thus avoiding perceptual distortions.

8)     Know yourself: Apply the johari window to know the real self. A powerful way to minimize perceptual biases is to know and become more aware of one's values, beliefs, and prejudice.

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