Impression Management is the No.1 killer of Psychological Safety.
We manage others’ impressions of us because we are afraid of appearing in a certain negative light. When we’re afraid, we instinctively protect ourselves and attempting to paint an artificial positive light where we “look” “competent”, “knowledgeable”, “professional” and generally “perfect” is a defensive measure, but one that is especially destructive at work because to win in our new #VUCA world, we must be authentic and brave not fake and fearful.
Teams with a collection of individuals who carefully consider their every word, calculate every move and hide their real thoughts and feelings, are not a team at all – but a group. And likely, an unsuccessful one at that. This is because to find ways to employ your best self, you have to be wide open and vulnerable and not closed off, hidden and self-censoring. We all engage in Impression Management, some of it is harmless, but at work, these particular 4 behaviours are a team and performance killer.
Watch the video below and let us know your thoughts – can you tell when you do it? Can you see it around you? What are you afraid of?