Although many of us don’t like to admit when we’re wrong, good communicators will use what they learn from perception checking to modify their perceptions of a situation. Sometimes you’ll find that your perceptions were accurate from the start. At other times, however, you’ll realize that they were not very accurate, for any of the reasons we’ve considered:
(1) They were limited by characteristics of yourself or of the situation.
(2) You were confusing facts and interpretations.
(3) You didn’t consider any alternative perceptions.
As one example, perhaps you initially perceived that Min was being dishonest and vindictive by accusing Dmitri of harassment, but after you dug a little deeper into the situation, you discovered that Dmitri did, in fact, harass Min. When the results of perception checking give us reason to believe our perceptions are inaccurate, it’s our responsibility as communicators to revise them.
Improving our perceptual ability, therefore, involves two major strategies.
First, we have to be mindful of the factors that influence what perception we form of a situation.
Second, we have to check that perception by separating facts from interpretations, considering alternative perceptions, engaging in direct and indirect perception checking, and revising our perception if necessary. With practice, these skills will help you improve your perceptions of people in interpersonal contexts.
Changing the Little Things in your day could be easier than you think. For help finding these little thing that will change your life go read “Changing the Little Things”.
Author J.L. Manning can help you find the little things in life that causes change. http://www.jlmanning.net/Change.html
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