vPsychology for Business

                    We are dedicated to bringing out the best in you and your employees

                      Volume 3, Number 8                                             April 19, 2002


Psychology for Business is a free e-mail newsletter written by Dr. Paul Glass, Dr. John
, and Dr. Lynda Dahlke, business psychologists and independent consultants. It
is published bi-weekly. You’ve received this newsletter because you’ve subscribed to it or it
was forwarded to you by a friend or colleague. To subscribe sign up at our website,
www.psychologyforbusiness.com.  If you wish to unsubscribe, please see the end of
this e-mail for easy instructions

Privacy Statement: We will not distribute the address of any subscriber to anyone.

We invite you to forward this newsletter, in its entirety, to your colleagues.

 All of our previous newsletters are archived at
www.psychologyforbusiness.com/eNewsletter.htm. NEW: Check out the series on The
Vitamin C’s of an Emotionally Healthy Workplace
, the series on Dealing with
Difficult Employees
and links to our Published Articles and our new series
Triple “A” Leadership

Coming Soon: a NEW Tips Booklet!  Written by Dr. Paul Glass, the new booklet
Managing Difficult Personalities in the Workplace: A Manager’s Practical Guide

will be available soon. 

How Do Others See You?

The Dangers of not knowing how your employees perceive you.

By Paul Kenneth Glass, Ph.D., Independent Business Psychologist


When was the last time you really took a good look at yourself?  Not recently?  This is not

only common, but also something many executives and managers avoid thinking about. 

Even more frightening is actually finding out the real way others perceive you. 


Is this really necessary?  Yes, yes, yes!  The risk of not being open to understanding how

others see you is very dangerous!  For example, if your best workers were angry about

their inadequate equipment, and knew you were very uncomfortable with spending money at a

time when the business was struggling, what would they do?  They might see you, accurately

or not, as too frightening to approach and not ask for safer machinery.  What would an injury or

loss of an important worker mean to your business? 


Are you seen as angry?  Are you perceived as compassionate? It makes a very big

difference when your employees decide how they must live with you.  Your business is the home

for many individuals.  Many survive only because they have this job.  They often put more hours

of time and energy into you, and your organization’s needs than they put into their families,

friends or themselves.


For a self-assessment, ask yourself the following questions. Although self- assessments are

not always accurate, try to be honest as you ask yourself…


1.   Do you really care what others think of you?  (Most of us do, even more than we admit.)

2.   How do you know what they think of you?

3.   When have you asked the employees how you could change?

4.   When have you received honest comments regarding your managing style?

5.   Have your workers ever told you that your style of operating is unfair to many workers?

6.   Have you ever been told that you favor certain individuals, and others resent this?

7.   Have you ever watched other’s reactions to what you say?  (Do they ever roll their

      eyes or show disgust?)

8.   Do you know much (or instruct the managers to learn) about the employees on a

      more personal basis?  (e.g. your best producer has just experienced a death in

      the family, or financial crisis)  Do you really believe that this will not affect your


9.   Are the employees comfortable talking openly with you?  Even if they disagree? 

      What is your response when they challenge your decisions?  Do they feel put

      down, demeaned, or really listened to about their input?  Remember, don’t ask

      for feedback or input unless you are going to “prove” to others that you will

      take reasonable suggestions and make accommodating changes.

10. Do you want employees to act like respected adults or children who need to be

      told what to do?

11. Are you comfortable sharing meaningful information freely with others, or do you

      worry about what they will do with the information?

12. When someone makes a mistake (especially if it costs you money) what do your

      words and behaviors communicate to them?


Clearly not all workers can be treated the same way, nor can we avoid making poor decisions,

or mistakes in the way we manage.  We will frequently realize (mostly after the fact) that we

may have overreacted to something.  This is expected and seldom communicates more than

a normal human blunder.  However, when the behavior persists over time, and illustrates a

pattern to your employees, they will take note and learn how to respond to you.  Whether it

is constructive or not, will depend on what they observe and, consequently think about you.


Does all this matter to you, or your business?  What happens when employees perceive

someone as dictatorial, money hungry, never satisfied, impossible to get a compliment

from, impulsive, uncaring, over-reactive, inconsistent, arrogant or consistently angry? 


1.  You will miss out on the helpful suggestions that could save you money or

      improve the safety of the working conditions.

2.  You will discourage cooperation. (Each person will try to win your approval in

      their own way)

3.  You will decrease productivity and increase dissatisfaction.

4.  You will have greater turnover.

5.  Loyalty to you or your company will be absent.

6.  Your reputation in your community may be negatively affected because of what

      they say to others.

7.  You will notice that when you need something extra from them, they will remember

      the extra you gave (or did not give) them, giving you back what they feel you deserve. 

8.  You can get some workers to behave as if they are cooperating with you but

      may steal, stab you in the back, sabotage your projects or communicate to others

      in the community that working with you is frustrating (or worse).  This could mean

      the loss of excellent future employees.


One executive recently took the challenge and interviewed several managers and laborers

working for him.  He, though hearing a few things that were surprising to him, found that almost

all the employees liked him and his leadership style.  This, of course, pleased him

immensely.  Thinking that he now had the endorsement of the employees, he continued to

manage his business in the same manner as he had in the past. 


Unfortunately he probably found out very little about how others actually saw him.  Why?  Because

it would be rare that employees, whose jobs and promotions depended upon a favorable

opinion of this executive, would provide a completely honest answer to his questions about

his personality or managing style.


How can you find out what your employees really think of you? 


It is not always the case that everyone will be dishonest in their responses to you, especially

if some have proven to be loyal employees over a long time.  But you can’t assume you know

much unless you also ask the less conforming employees too.  Nevertheless, you may only get

the truth if you do one of the following.


1.   Take a pre-designed valid and reliable inventory about your management style.

      Then distribute the inventory to a random number (or all) of the employees. 

      Evaluate where your self-perception is different from the perceptions of your

      workers.  Now, communicate the results, and detail specifically what you will do

      to change some of things that the inventory suggests needs attention.  Also, pay

      close attention to the positive perceptions, so you continue or increase

      doing things that could improve your managing style.  It is important to understand

      that any personal growth you make will be a positive influence on many workers, and

      will tell them you care about what they think, need, and do. (Bringing in

      an executive/managerial coach could help you stay focused and set measurable

      goals with achievable timelines.)  All responses need to be designed to convince

      the employees that they will not be personally identified, or they will tell you

      what they believe you want to hear.

2.   Invite a qualified professional to assist you in gathering the information in a manner

      that protects the confidentiality of the workers, and gives you specific details about

      your personality and operating style.  Let them guide you through the results and set

      a developmental plan for constructive changes.


If you are not open to changes don’t do this exercise.  But be sure to ask yourself WHY?  To

ignore other’s perceptions of you, and your managing tendencies, is very risky.  What would it

hurt to personally demonstrate the same professional, or personal, growth that you would expect

of your employees


This is good for you and your company. 


Try it in a modified way, to understand how your family perceives you.  WOW! How risky would

that be?

About the Author

Based in Waukesha, WI, Dr. Paul Glass is available for consultation or coaching by phone,
e-mail or in person. He may be reached at (262) 789-2728 (office) by e-mail at
pglass@psychologyforbusiness.com or:

Paul Glass, Ph.D.
Psychology for Business
2717 North Grandview Boulevard, Suite 303
Waukesha, Wisconsin, 53188

Announcing FREE one hour virtual classes by telephone conference call (you only pay for
long distance telephone charges, usually $4 to $6 per class):

Friday, May 17, 2002 at 10:00 AM Central Standard Time:

Health related costs continue to rise for businesses and
    employees.  Research regularly identifies stress-related
    problems as the most expensive contributor to overall
    cost.  Find out how you can begin to address this issue
    for yourself and for your company in this free one-hour
    telephone conference call.

    To register: Send an email to jweaver@psychologyforbusiness.com
    with STRESS in the subject line. Please include
    your name, your organization and your email address. Upon
    registration you will receive the telephone conference number to
    call and instructions for how to connect.

Friday, June 14, 2002 at 1:00 PM Central Standard Time:


Dr. John Weaver, has co-authored a new article with Dr. Nancy Brady-Freitag for
Executive Update Magazine, titled: “Addictions in the Workplace.”
Addictive behaviors,
whether abuse of drugs, alcohol, gambling, or even Internet usage, can severely impair
work performance. Although association leaders may not want to acknowledge that any of
their employees could be addicts, they are making a mistake to think they won’t run into
such problems at some point.
You can read the article online at: http://www.gwsae.org/executiveupdate/2002/April/addiction.htm. 

There is a companion article, “Are You an Internet Addict?” also online at: http://www.gwsae.org/executiveupdate/2002/April/ElectronicIssue/InternetAddict.htm.

Dr. Lynda Dahlke is featured in the most recent Corporate Report Wisconsin issue in an
article describing Executive Coaching titled
Calling in the Coach.  For information about
Corporate Report Wisconsin, visit their website at www.trailsmediagroup.com.

We appreciate feedback on the articles we have written or in which we have been featured.
If you have comments about the articles in Executive Update Magazine from last month,
“Overcoming Work Anxiety” or this month, “Addictions in the Workplace” please direct
comments to jweaver@psychologyforbusiness.com.  If you have comments about the
feature in Corporate Report Wisconsin, Calling in the Coachemail
ldahlke@psychologyforbusiness.com.  We love to hear from you!


To subscribe visit our website at: www.psychologyforbusiness.com.

If you would like to learn more about Dr. Paul Glass, Dr. John Weaver, and Dr. Lynda
 please visit us at our website: www.psychologyforbusiness.com.


© Copyright 2001. All rights reserved. Paul Kenneth Glass. Distribution rights: The above
material is copyrighted, but you may retransmit or distribute it to whomever you wish as long as
not a single word is changed, added or deleted, including the contact information. If you would
like to reprint part of this newsletter please contact me at success@psychologyforbusiness.com
to make arrangements.

Sharing this newsletter with colleagues and friends, under these conditions, is encouraged.

If you have a question or topic you would like to see covered, send your request to