Everyday we make judgements. Sometimes they’re based off of experience and repetition (I dont like this shirt because it’s not my style), but other times its based on what others think (this place had bad reviews, so I wont eat there).
Most people trust their social networks, so they typically wont investigate the truth behind a bad review. Why do we listen about things we never experienced first hand? There is a reason why branding experts will tell you that it takes 10 seconds to make a first impression – it’s because we like simple and quick decisions. If people make strong decisions like this so quickly – how can we alter their perceptions?
If you want to change how someone personally views you, then you need to know how YOU want them to view you. Do you want to be known as an expert, or as someone who is ethical? A person who everyone immediately smiles out and calls out to you when they see you, or someone who is grounded and trusted for making the right decision? By the way, those positions aren’t opposite of each other, but they are how most of us would like to be perceived.
If you aren’t sure how you’re perceived, or if you’re on the right track, then the best way is to ask. Use a mix of those close to you, and those who you’ve just met. It’s hard to give an honest answer face to face, so make it anonymous. Create a survey, there a variety of websites that will let you do that for free, like surveymonkey. The more you learn about yourself, the better you can manage how you’re viewed.
Find out whats important to you, and then be proactive about making it happen.