Perception is Reality
We’ve all heard that saying “perception is reality” but do we really believe it applies to us? We all probably think we’re competent at our jobs but being so is only half the journey. We need to demonstrate that competency to our peers, employees, bosses, and customers in order for it to matter.
In good counseling sessions we should receive some praise for what we’ve done well and some feedback for areas that we need to improve. My advice to people receiving feedback is first determine if it is factual. Do you really write poor quality code? Are you actually tough to work with? If you believe the feedback is not factually correct, don’t become defensive and try to refute it because the blame is still yours! Even if the facts are incorrect but your peers, boss, or customers perceive them to be correct, you own this perception.
People usually hate to hear this and think they should just have to focus on their skills and everything will work out but the reality is that you need to own people’s perception of you. The same goes for customers. You cannot just focus on building a good product and assume customers will flock to you. You have to own your customers perceptions, which means you have to consider not only the quality of the product but how you introduce the product, how you roll out the code, how you perform maintenance on it. All of these ultimately result in your customer’s perception of the product, not just the number of bugs.