What Can You Do If Someone Says Something to You That Reveals They Have The Wrong Impression Of You?

What Can You Do If Someone Says Something to You 
That Reveals
They Have The Wrong Impression Of You?

You're talking to someone a co-worker, or perhaps your boss and they say something about you that isn't true about you at all.  What do you do in that moment to correct his or her misperception of you? Perhaps a mistaken impression is shared with you during your performance review, or in passing in an office conversation or meeting. Your boss or co-worker might get the wrong idea about your personality, sense of humor, interests, performance, your work or life goals or other things about you. What can you say in the moment or if you are too surprised to correct it in the moment, what is the best way to go back and set the record straight? These ideas are adapted from my book "The Conflict Cure

Sometimes you are sure they aren't accurate and sometimes you need clarification. I recommend, if you don't know how they came to that impression, you start by asking for more information.

REQUEST MORE INFORMATION
Sometimes you don’t know why someone has that mistaken impression. You can't disagree or change your behavior without clarity. Ask for the details or a specific explanation of why he or she has that impression of you.

Start your statements with a "SOFTNER" statement that takes out any hostility from your request. You might try, "I need your help to understand..." or "Can you help me understand....?" or "I really want to understand what you’re saying...." Then follow with one of these statements.

Examples:
  • “What specifically have I done that makes you feel that way?”
  • “Can you give me a specific time in the last three weeks that I did this?"
  • “Can you share a specific behavior of mine that you saw recently that led you to      feel that way?”
  • “Can you share an example of my behavior that fits that impression?

If you didn't know you did that and can now see why they feel that way, admit it. If you discover why they came to the wrong conclusion about you, you can correct it by using the “disagree” script.

DISAGREE
Without making the other person wrong. You want to clarify and change their impression not start an argument, so speak in an even neutral tone. Ideally you want to calmly repeat what they have said first, to let them know you heard and understood it before you disagree. Make sure you use their words, don't elaborate or extrapolate. Repeating puts you on even ground with them. Otherwise they may say, "You misheard me."

Examples:
  • "That surprises me, you feel that...." "That is different than my intention I feel that I....."
  • “You feel…about me, I disagree I feel…” 
  • “I think you have the impression that….but I would like share that I have done….that shows I am actually…..”


Patti Wood, MA, Certified Speaking Professional - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at www.PattiWood.net. Check out Patti's website for her new book "SNAP, Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language and Charisma" at www.snapfirstimpressions.com. Also check out Patti's YouTube channel at http://youtube.com/user/bodylanguageexpert.

Mind Your Ps and Body Cues

The Toronto Sun n Wednesday, April 29, 2015
JOANNE RICHARD
Special to Postmedia Network

Mind Your Ps and Body Cues

Important things to remember when interviewing
for that summer job. “We’re able to read up
to 10,000 nonverbal cues in less than a minute,” says
body language expert Patti Wood. “Many hiring
decisions in interviews are based on reading those cues
in an instinctual way, with the interviewer then spending
the rest of the interview looking for evidence to back up
her initial snap (impression).” Give off the right cues with
tips from Wood, author of Snap: Making the Most of First
Impressions, Body Language and Charisma.

See success: “Visualize your success before
the interview, rather than imagining all the things
you might do wrong,” says Wood. Practice “live.”
Close your eyes and visualize yourself in the situation.
Imagine a self-assured handshake and sitting with
confidence — be warm and friendly, listen attentively
and answer questions assertively.

Less stress for success: The first few moment s of the
interview are do or die. “Your most important goal in any
interaction is to make the other person feel comfortable.”
By focusing on them, you’re no longer focused on yourself
and your fears. 

Manage the shift : “Your interviewer may back away
from you, break off eye contact, or stop giving
you nonverbal feedback. If you’re sensing that
something has shifted or changed, don’t freak out!”
says Wood. Just keep listening, connecting, and
answering the interviewer’s questions. “If it’s appropriate
and fits your personality, you can even choose
to be a bit feisty and say, ‘What can I do right now to
convince you that I’d be the best person for this job?’”

Lean into It: Lean forward to show that you are
interested, listening and connecting to what the
interviewer is saying. “But don’t overdo it; you’re not
trying to get in their face. Just aim for gentle, timely
leans. As interviewees, we tend to pull back when we
don’t like or are fearful of a question.”

Show your hands: “Always keep your hands open and
in view on the table or the arms of the chair,” stresses
Wood. Gesture normally. Tightly closed hands reveal
how you feel about the topic being discussed and
the person you are with. 

A great ending: The last thing you say or do matters 
a great deal! “As the conversation winds down, make 
sure your belongings are on the left side of your body 
so you can easily shake with your right hand,” says 
Wood, adding that you might shake hands more than once. 
Shake when you get up, at the door, and after talking for
a bit longer while parting. “Make that seem like the
most natural thing in the world, because every time
you shake hands, you’re bonding.”

Even if you feel you bombed the interview,
leave on a high note by closing strongly and confidently.



Patti Wood, MA, Certified Speaking Professional - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at www.PattiWood.net. Check out Patti's website for her new book "SNAP, Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language and Charisma" at www.snapfirstimpressions.com. Also check out Patti's YouTube channel at http://youtube.com/user/bodylanguageexpert.