How People Perform Is Influenced By Their Perception

Most people believe that their perceptions about a situation are accurate. For example, if I perceive an employee to be lazy, I’m confident that the employee is, indeed, lazy. The reality is quite different. Our perceptions are influenced by many factors, and people can perceive the same thing in fundamentally different ways. I’ve learned this first-hand not only while working with the team at crowdSPRING, but during my 13 years as a trial attorney – trying complex cases in front of judges and juries.

Why should you care about this? You should care because changing a situation (such as a bad work environment, poor team collaboration, etc.) doesn’t necessarily change perceptions. Many times, perceptions can be more damaging than the actual situation.

You also should care because perceptions impact performance. Startups – especially those with small teams – cannot succeed unless people perform well. I talk about these issues in the following 5 minute video.

What do you think? Do you agree that perceptions affect performance?

  • Ross,

    Your views and propaganda are somewhat inline with mine.

    I find your posts, accuracy in detailing events and behaviour of people and general intellect thoroughly intriguing.

    I leave you with a few gems I’ve been blessed to come across; (which you already know, of course)
    • Knowledge (n) – Things that you believe
    • Common sense – it isn’t that common
    • It’s your perception that is fcuked. (An artwork piece of mine)

    Am now following you on twitter, thanks for your insights.

  • Very profound! I’ll look for situations where I can implement your thoughts (change the perception, not just the situation). Smart advice and good examples.

  • Leon – thanks for the gems. Love the last one!

    Alex – glad you enjoyed. It’s not easy to force yourself to consider perceptions by other people – but it is an important factor when you want to truly change situations.

  • Julie

    I agree completely. Our perception is what drives us to react and perform in a certain way. It may have nothing to do with the reality of a situation. You offer good advice with asking questions to make sure people are hearing the same things.

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  • Ross, do you think there is a time limit on startup success. Anyone that has been in a startup, knows it takes a long time to get noticed. I’m wondering if there is a point of no return where the moral and perception within the team of company success drops off a cliff never to come back to the high energy levels at the beginning.

  • Julie – thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. Questions are always important…

    Matt – Yes, I do think there’s a time limit, but I’m not sure what it is. After a while, a team can become demoralized if their startup isn’t gaining traction. A team that executes poorly is often overtaken by newer and nimbler competitors.

    I’ve found that it’s important to continue learning and tweaking the way that startup teams work together. Most of the time, improvements are organic – but you sometimes have to call a time out and talk about some difficult issues, as we recently had to do when we launched new code for crowdSPRING and found it to have been an extremely frustrating experience.

    Do you think there’s a time limit on startup success?

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