Sunday, April 11, 2010

Chapter 15

Impression management is the process of attempting to control or manipulate how others view your image or ideas. This involves manipulating attributes, how you talk, how you look, and how you behave. People who are high self-monitoring tend to use impression management more than those who are low self-monitoring. Upward impression management tactics are:
• Job-focused means that you manipulate information about your performance
• Supervisor-focused is when you praise or do favors for your supervisor
• Self-focused is presenting yourself as a nice and polite person
A problem with making a good impression is that it can possibly lead to unethical things, such as, the story from Stewart Friedman where people faked looking busy. Another problem is that you may be labeled as ‘phony’ or a ‘pet’ if you use too much impression management. It is important that everyone uses some impression management tactics because it helps to get you noticed in the work place. If you don’t use it at all, supervisors may overlook your contributions when deciding on promotions. Using upward impression management tactics is all about balance. Some people purposely want to make a bad impression because they want to:
• Avoid work, stress, burnout, or an unwanted transfer/promotion
• Obtain a pay raise or a desired transfer, promotion, or demotion
• To get laid off, fired, or suspended, and to collect unemployment/workers’ compensation
• To control, manipulate, or intimate others, get revenge, or make someone else look bad
Five unfavorable upward impression management tactics are:
• Decreasing performance, be less productive, making more mistakes than usual, lowering quality of work, and neglecting tasks
• Not work to potential by pretending to be ignorant
• Displaying a bad attitude by complaining, getting upset and angry, act strange, and purposely not getting along with others
• Broadcasting limitations by letting others know about your physical problems and mistakes
Jared Sandberg of The Wall Street Journal calls this “strategic incompetence,” where a successful failure strategy helps to deflect unwanted work without having to own up to it. To avoid such problems, challenging work, greater autonomy, better feedback, supportive leadership, clear and reasonable goals, and a less stressful work environment can be implemented in a company.

In the article, “Using Impression Management to Excel In Your Career” by Mercedes Alfaro, she points out that a lot of times people might be creating a bad image of themselves without knowing it. People are unaware that their personal appearance and attitude help to define who they are as a person. Alfaro stresses that having good socializing skills are key to making a good impression. She gives the following tips:
• Set goals
• Take a look at yourself or ask someone for their opinion on your image
• Committ to the change you want to make by constatly practicing the new skill
• Dress appropriately for the occasion and for the way you want people to see you
• Learn how to properly shake hands
• Keep your body language open by not fidgeting or not making eye contact
• Fake it until you feel that you’ve achieved your desired image
This article brings up an important point that sometimes people are unaware of the image that they’re giving off. Before it’s too late, everyone should assess their current image and necessary adjustments to reach their desired image goal.

Works Cited
Alfaro, Mercedes. Using Impression Management to Excel In Your Career. 11 April 2010 .

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