As I have discoursed in previous columns, I am convinced that everything in life boils down to a matter of perception, and the power of perception is tremendous.
Ponder this thought from author Gary Zukav: “Reality is what we take to be true. What we take to be true is what we believe. What we believe is based upon our perceptions.
“What we perceive depends upon what we look for. What we look for depends upon what we think.
“What we think depends upon what we perceive. What we perceive determines what we believe.
“What we believe determines what we take to be true. What we take to be true is our reality.”
What does the following say?
Did you read it as “opportunity is nowhere” or as “opportunity is now here?”
Factors That Shape Reality
As the vehicle maintenance world twirls, it is our perceptions that shape our reality. It is not what happens, but what we think is happening that matters. The reason being: the difference between reality and perception (a way of seeing, understanding or interpreting) is that perception is real.
As case in point: Three engineers are riding along in a pickup truck, heading down a steep mountain road when the brakes fail.
The mechanical engineer, who is driving, desperately pumped the brake pedal, but nothing happened. As the truck hurtled toward an impossible corner, he spotted an escape route into a field. He steered into it and the truck eventually ground to a safe stop.
Shaken and relieved, the three engineers got out of the pickup and took turns assessing the situation.
“It looks like a brake line was leaking,” said the mechanical engineer. “Let’s repair the split, bleed the brakes and we should be good to go.”
The systems engineer said: “Let’s contact the truck manufacturer and the dealership where the truck came from to confirm exactly what the problem is.”
The software engineer climbed into the driver’s seat, gestured for the others to get in and said: “How about we get back on the road and see if it happens again?”
The point of this story is that a person’s perception creates their reality. This is the case with situations and circumstances, as well as with people.
How Are You Perceived?
When it comes to a business interaction, are you perceived as a professional? Do you come across as being knowledgeable about your company, its offerings, your industry, your competition and your potential/current customers’ businesses and industries?
Are you enthusiastic and upbeat? Do you stimulate feelings of happiness and security in the minds of those you hope to do business with and those you are already doing business with?
A Gap In Perceptions
Often, there exists a disparity between customers’/potential customers’ perceptions of a business and the company’s perceptions of itself. Companies conduct their operations assuming that its perception of the company matches those of its customers/potential customers.
The same holds true for an individual.
Do you manage your potential customers’ perceptions to give them reasons to do business with you and your company rather than someone else? Do you manage your customers’ perceptions to give them reasons to continue to do business with you and your company?
If you are not doing these things, there is the danger of you and your company becoming a commodity. That usually means you end up competing on price, and that is dicey business.
Low prices mean narrow profit margins. Narrow profit margins mean less cash on hand. Consequently, with only a small financial cushion, a business becomes vulnerable with every increase in costs.
Monitor Your Attitude
No discussion of perception is complete without mentioning attitudes, because our mindset drives behavior. We act and perform in accordance with what we believe to be true. Our beliefs become our reality.
Henry Ford may have explained this concept most adeptly when he said: “Whether you think you can or can’t, you’re right.”