The “That’s your perception” exuse

I’ve had the pleasure, displeasure, and learning experience of managing up to 25 people at once.  It never fails that in my midst is someone who, upon being called out for their poor choice of words or actions says, "That’s just your perception of what I said/wrote/did!…I didn’t mean it that way."  Technically, this is correct.  However, please explore the following guidelnes (especially if you’ve ever said that to someone):
1.  Yes. It’s my perception…the one that matters…since I’m your superior.
2.  Since I am your boss and I probably (not certainly…but probably) have a more global understanding of people, behavior, and how the "royal we" perceive comments or actions, my opinion is the one that matters to you.  Yours is far less relevant at the point of confrontation.
3.  If things that you are going to say or do "Could possibly be interpreted in a negative way"……shut your mouth and stop typing.
4.  Accept that odds are, others perceptions and interpretations of what you write/say are likely how you really intended them down deep.  Then call your counselor and hit Walgreens for your refill.
5.  If you get fired over the misperception issue, or especially if you get fired more than once, see number 4.

At the end of the day, how your boss perceives you is the only thing that matters when you’re working for someone else.  I’ve mostly been on the good side of this situation where my boss largely perceived me as a hard worker who liked his job (while I toiled internally about how I diliked it).  Controlling perception is what we do in business anyway right?  We have a great piece of softwware (READ "A demo") that we’d like to offer you at a fair price (READ "We’ll take whatever you offer if you hold out because we’re desperate and the R&D is a sunk cost anyway so every dollar is probably better than our image…but don’t TELL ANYONE") and our support is world class (READ "We’re really good at placating our angry customers").

These are simply my perceptions so interpret them as you will.



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