I was walking downtown and noticed a man with a great big smile on his face headed in the opposite direction. As our paths crossed on the sidewalk I thought: He must be having a great day. What a nice, friendly guy. I continued on to my destination with a smile in tow (as smiles are usually contagious). That simple experience taught me a valuable lesson about the power of perception.
The Power of Perception
It is amazing how the smallest act or observance can change the way you see your surroundings. On a daily basis, our perception of the world and the people around us is heavily influenced by what we hear, see, and feel. It only takes a mere moment and we make a quick judgment. Good or bad, humans are naturally judgmental creatures.
Perception has great power and influence in our personal and professional lives. After an Edmonton Synergy Network breakfast pre-Covid, I realized many of Alberta’s current challenges are heavily influenced by others’ perceptions of our province. The breakfast hosted a panel of successful Edmontonians that discussed the business outlook in Alberta. Labour shortages, the desire for national economic cooperation, and fostering innovation were a few topics of conversation.
Of course, many things have since changed. In addition to the regular economic fluctuations we’re becoming accustomed to, we have also dealt with the upheaval brought on by COVID-19.
Opinions impact the economy, tourism, and even how the public views our city. As emphasized at the Synergy Network breakfast, the majority of Edmontonians love our city, our culture, our festivals, our river valley, our Oilers and most of all our wonderful people. But, why do so many of us (often while on vacation) support the stereotypes and negative perceptions of Edmonton?
Conscious Thought and Action are Key
We are sometimes the worst marketing tool for our city. In order to break the bad habits, we need to stop complaining about how cold it can get during winter and start saying: “Edmonton is a fantastic city. We have a lot of great things such as…”
Conscious thought and action are key elements required when creating the positive power of perception – no matter what the subject matter is.
Just like having a simple smile walking down the street, your words and actions personally and professionally affect the image you portray and the success that follows.
Small and negative (sometimes unintentional or unconscious) events add up and can be detrimental to your credibility. What have you done today that has positively or negatively affected others’ perception of you, your business or your city? What will you consciously change for tomorrow?
The simple lesson: Be conscious of your actions. Be aware of your words. Be mindful of how people perceive you and your business. Also, don’t forget to brag about Edmonton – as it is time to tell the world how lucky we are to live here!
While we’re on the subject of the power of perception, take a look at this quote:
“The way someone else perceives what you do is a result of their own experiences (which you can’t control), their own preferences (which you can’t predict), and their own expectations (which you don’t set).” – James Clear
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This post about the power of perception was first published in 2013 but it was updated in 2021 just for you.