There are two basic strategies of impression management that employees can use. If employees are trying to minimize responsibility for some negative event or to stay out of trouble, they may employ a demotion-preventative strategy. On the other hand, if they are seeking to maximize responsibility for a positive outcome or to look better than what they really are, then they lean use a promotion-enhancing strategy.
The demotion-preventative strategy is characterized by the following activities:
- Employees attempt to excuse or justify their actions.
- Employees apologies to the boss for some negative event.
- Employees secretly tell their boss that they fought for the right thing, but were overruled. Employees using this approach try to disassociate themselves from the group and from the problem.
The promotion enhancing strategies involve the following activities:
- Employees harbor a feeling that they have not been given credit for a positive outcome.
- Employees point out that they did more, but received a lesser credit.
- Employees identify cither personal or organizational obstacles they had to overcome to accomplish an outcome and expect a higher credit.
- Employees ascertain that they are seen with the right people at the right times.
Coping with Individual Differences
Individual differences and people’s perception of them affect every aspect of behaviour in organizations. Managers must never underestimate, the differences between individuals. Successful managers constantly monitor their own assumptions, perceptions and attributions, trying to treat each individual as a unique person.
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