Managing Perception: I think you think you know me but I don’t think you do

Everything I do in my communications role at my church is about people. But not everyone thinks that.

Recently, I’ve noticed that the perception of what the communications team does isn’t what we thought. Many on staff don’t see the why behind the what.

Sure, we’ve worked hard to improve systems and make things easier on everyone. We’ve even tried to introduce some new things to help our church communicate better as a whole.

But the perception was still that we were about processes and not people. So I’m working on that.

But the point I want to make this week is a simple one and can be summed up in one of my favorite quotes from George Bernard Shaw:

The hardest thing about communication is the illusion that it has taken place.

Allowing an incorrect perception to persist damages your ability to do your job.

Are you a self-aware person? Do you ask for honest feedback regularly? Can you take it when you get it? Do you even care what others think of you? You should. It could be the difference between getting something done with a teammate that reaches 20 people or reaches 2000 people.

I blogged about how to be friends with your pastor before, but I think that stuff applies to all relationships at your church between staff and even between departments.

Internal communication is one of the hardest things we have to manage because it deals with personalities and perceptions. It’s messy and inconvenient and time-consuming.

But it’s so worth it.

Do the legwork. Have that coffee. Plan that lunch. Drop by their office and ask about the kids. It matters.

What are you doing this week to manage the perception of your team, your department, or yourself? Put some ideas in the comments so we can all work on it. Thanks for reading!

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