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How to change wrong perception?

How to change wrong perception?

How to change wrong perception?, Ajinkya Patale

I think once perception is created about you, which is not favourable, changing it to positive is tough. Yes, I have gone through this phase in my professional career once.

My story

This was when we were well adjusted to working from home, we had our routine set of when to start our work when to take breaks ad when to finish our daily tasks. 

Still, there were many things which were new for everyone and we were still adjusting to it. 

My daughter was 2 years old and her routine was to sleep around 2 pm. I religiously updated my outlook calendar that I am not available between 2-4 pm and it was going well since the pandemic started. 

One fine day, my boss schedules a series of meetings at 2 pm for 3 days. Now, I am sceptical about whether I should accept the meeting or decline it. There were 2 things going in my mind 

  1. If I decline, then my boss will say I am not contributing to any discussions. 
  2. If I join, then I won’t be able to contribute anyways as my daughter is with me on my lap sleeping ( with white noise on)

I joined the meeting, but as my daughter got up, I had to drop off the call. Immediately after the meeting, I got an email from my boss ” were you in the meeting?
Me- Yes, I joined, but had to drop off as my daughter got up – I replied to his email.

This incident happened and I forgot about it. In my org, there is a process every 6 months to review the performance and we get areas of opportunities where we need to focus on for the next phase of the year. 

The feedback was published and I am looking at them very carefully. 

Now before I let you know the feedback, let me tell you the background about working with this boss. I got promoted to Manager recently before the pandemic hit and I was given great responsibility to design a solution, lead the team etc. When I got promoted, I was moved under this boss for the first time. In my 4 years of tenure, this is the first time I am working with him. Obviously, he has his own way of working and I am adjusting and learning it. 

Now back to the feedback.

I am reading this and I usually focused on what are the areas of opportunities, because that was important for me. 

I saw this feedback “Ajinkya has professionalism issues, many times he joined the meeting, but dropped after 5 mins”

I was awestruck looking at that feedback.  

Now I knew that when this feedback was given, it was discussed with all the leaders in a specific meeting for a performance review ( that was the process, which was done every 6 months) 

I was aware that this feedback is known to all the leaders now and that’s where this perception was created that I am not professional

Every time I joined a meeting, I was asked “Ajinkya you there?” and I felt bad. 

See if the perception is good, then you don’t have to worry about it, but if it’s bad, then it takes time and energy to change it and it’s tough.

How I overcome and changed the wrong perception?

It took some time to change the incorrect perception which was created about me and I followed some steps and techniques which helped me overcome it. 

Be truthful and blunt in your communication.

In my opinion, if you are not available for any discussion, just say it out loud and be confident in your voice when saying it or writing it over an email. 

Decline the meeting, if you are not available at a time which is not suitable for you. There could be a possibility of rescheduling the meeting if your inputs are important. 

Focus on your work and deliverables

Start over-communicating your daily work and keep everyone informed about where are your time spent. Keep your daily tasks realistic, so that you can achieve them and don’t get carried forward to the next day. 

Complete the task religiously and don’t give anyone any chance to speak about your work things and deliverables. 

Update your availibility

I recommend, updating your outlook calendar with your availability hours. I had many calendar blocks for my personal time where I mentioned I won’t be available for meeting. 

  1. Lunch break
  2. Travel time
  3. Personal time

You must update these in your calendar, so that everyone knows your availability. 

Regular connects with your superior

I recommend, setting up regular 1:1 with your boss to review what is important for you to focus on in the coming days. and what you are currently focusing on as part of your daily work. Ask for more responsibilities to showcase that you are eager to learn and take more on your plate. 

I think if you do all the above things in your daily routine, you will definitely change the wrong perception which is created by someone who is just trying to prove that you does not deserve a normal work life 🙂 

Keep focusing on good work !

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