Maximize Your Influence

self-perception bias

Ever wonder why others can’t smell their own stink? (perfume or body order)  We are good at judging others and finding out what is wrong with them, but that analysis does not seem to work on ourselves.  The same is true for our skills.  We have to have the ability to honestly access ourselves – both our strengths and weaknesses.  Then find the skills and the discipline to improve our faults.  We always will feel we must gloss over our weaknesses to make things seem better than they actually are. We also lie to ourselves about our incomes, our debt, and our true weight.  When you ask husbands and wives individually about what percent of the housework they each do – the numbers never add up.  Most people will rate their people skills as above average.  We all know that is not true.  If you want to see human blindness and bias in action, all you have to do is go to a sporting event as a neutral party and listen to the bias and comments of each opposing side.


The Research

To hit this point home we need to discover our own weaknesses and be honest with our own personal reality.  Let’s take a look at some of the studies on self perception bias.  To enhance your success and your influence, you need to know exactly what skills you have mastered and which ones you need work on.  Isn’t it amazing how we tend to overestimate everything from grades and physical appearance to the possibility of divorce.   If you were in sales and you were asked to rate your ability to connect with people or your product knowledge, you would be 90 percent likely to rate yourself above average on these skills, even though mathematically the validity of your assertion should be around 50 percent.     You know all those managers you have met over the years?  Over 90 percent of them will rate themselves better than the average manager.   Did you know 80% of individuals may perceive themselves as being brighter, better drivers and more able entrepreneurs than their average peers.   One study even found that most people believe they are more ___________ than the average person.  

•           Athletic

•           Intelligent

•           Organized

•           Ethical

•           Logical

•           Interesting

•           Fair-minded

•           Attractive 


The Solution

It is all about true self-assessment.  When I teach influence or self mastery seminars I ask my students to list the top ten reasons for their lack of success.  They find plenty of reasons why it is not their fault for their inability to achieve their goals, but they rarely take ownership of their weaknesses or admit that it could be them.  You can always ask yourself - What traits do I need to develop to take my life, my career and my income to the next level?  My research of human nature shows that there are five critical areas that most people assess to have much higher skills than they actually have.  When other people assess themselves of these skills, their scores are much lower.  These are the five areas.


1.         People skills/empathy

2.         Persistence/determination

3.         Communication/listening

4.         Personal mastery

5.         Persuasion skills

Direct download: Podcast_133.mp3
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