I Would Rather Be Known As Honest Sinner, Than A Lying Hypocrite…

A recent post on LinkedIn about a bunch of boobies choosing HR as their profession and their copy book answers in support of their choice made me think how people expose themselves as fools by opening their mouth and prove to the world that they are imbecile. The whole effort of these Charlie’s was to impress upon the readers that they were past masters in the HR management and its functions.

After going through this post I began to recall and remember the various interactions and encounters I had in my foregone years with variety of people from all walks of life, in the capacity of PRO and Manager (P&A), and how people used to impress themselves in order to gain benefit for their use.

This technique they used may be roughly termed as Impression Management Technique, or IMT for short. Impression Management is the process by which people manage and control their perception the other people form about them. This is also referred to as *putting your best foot forward* and *showing the best (read fake) face in public* Impression Management is thus, a diplomatic and political tool for one to climb hierarchical ladder in the organization, without sacrificing one’s basic principles.

As with other cognitive processes, impression management has many conceptual dimensions. A distinction between *impressions motivation* and *impression construction* can be made as first is bridging the gulf between an image the individual wants others to see and others have of him, and the second is what specific image the individual wants to project and how he goes in doing so. Some well known techniques of impression management are as below:

*Conformity* Agreeing with someone else's opinion in order to get his or her approval. For example, A manager tells his boss, " you are absolutely right on your reorganization plan of Eastern region. I couldn't agree with you more". That, the subordinate may not mean it and boss and subordinate both know it but they let it pass.

*Excuses* Explanation of a problem creating situation aimed to bring down the seriousness of the problem. For instance, sales manager to boss, " We failed to put the advertising in time, but see, no one worthwhile responds to these advertise these days"

*Apologies*Admitting responsibility for an undesirable event and at the same time seeking to get pardon. For example, Employee to boss, " I am sorry I made a mistake on the report. Please forgive me."

*Acclamations * Explaining favorable event, to maximize the desirable implications for oneself. Example, Sales person to his immediate superior, " Sales have almost doubled since I joined in this region."

*Flattery * Complimenting others about their virtues so as to appear perceptive and likable. For example, sales executive to his superior, " You handled that customer complaint so tactfully, I couldn't do it like you did for sure".

*Favours * Doing something nice to someone to gain the person's appreciation. Example,, Sales Executive to Sales Manager, " I have got two tickets of Sunny Leone movie to which I can't go sir. You take it sir, consider this sir as a token of thanks sir for how you helped me sir"

*Association * Enhancing one's image by using and managing information with which one is associated. Example, a candidate during interview, " Oh!, What a coincidence, Your boss and I were roommates back in college!"

The executives must be smarter to understand how these tactics are used by people in order to get foothold somewhere in a maze of corporate diplomacy and try to be in the good books of those who play the golf. 
A lecturer in a reputed institute used to stay back even after official time is over and then work extra time editing the drafts done day before, and after some time, giving a phone call to Director just to get his advice on certain AICTE clauses, thereby impressing upon how he was a hard worker and others were shirkers. Following day, he used to make it a point to give his time slot to some other lecturer so that he was free to sit in front of desk top and surf you know what.

Public Relations is very important function from a managerial - societal perspective. It is well developed sub specialization within management science. It is established, credible and honest PR practice to distribute gifts during festive seasons. In itself, this does not amount to bribery. Bribery is an event specific action for the implied or explicit benefit to be derived in order to get ball rolling, implying some kind of *quid pro quo* Relationships building (read network building in today’s parlance) is a long term process in friendship and business associations so that transactions are smooth. If that were not to be understood, then all efforts taken towards discharging corporate social responsibility could be labeled as *bribing society! *

Dr Satish.

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