is Impression Management?
When a person is trying
to mould his natural behavior just to manage a particular situation
or to look good in front of others then he is following the art
of Impression Management. It makes us feel good if we claim to be
an expert at something and people around you accept the same. This
helps in increasing their self-confidence and raising their self-esteem.
After making a good impression it becomes easier to influence others
to dance on your own tunes. People, in day to day life, widely use
this technique of Impression Management to effect a change in personality.
A real life example
may be that a person who has a habit of wearing shabby clothes grooms
himself very nicely just before going for a party, for an interview
or for a date. This acts as a feel good factor for many individuals
and thus increases their confidence. Somebody has rightly said,
“First impression is the last impression”. This worldly accepted
famous quote in itself tells about the need and importance of Impression
Management. And a more assertive way to quote this is by adding,
“And you never get a second chance to make the first impression”.
to use Impression Management effectively?
There are several ways by which people can use the concept
of Impression Management to make them look superior to what
they actually are. Some of these are:
• People tend to talk about their personal characteristics
portraying them in a manner so as to make themselves look
superior amongst all.
• People often conform from a desire to achieve a sense of
security within a group.
• People tend
to give excuses or try to justify their acts so as to make
them acceptable to everyone.
• These days people try to portray their deceptive nature
of being courteous just to show how down to earth they are
and how readily they accept their mistakes.
• If somebody has achieved something
high and of great importance then people tend to take credit
of that worthy act by telling everybody how they played a
vital role by offering a helping hand to accomplish the task.
• Cajoling is the one way of making yourself likeable by everybody
as it’s a typical human behavior of people who like being
flattered. This is the best way to make things work.
• Returning favors of the good behavior that is showed to
you can create miracles for people who do the same. This is
“Good Tit for Tat’ method.
do people adopt the technique of Impression Management?
There are basically two main reasons that drive people
to adopt the art Impression Management which are:
1. Effectiveness: Many
people feel that by managing their impression they can get
by on charm on any person and make them work according to
their wishes i.e. people show the other side of their personality
to match people requirements from place to place. E.g. A boy
coming out of a Mercedes Benz which is borrowed from one of
his friend and branded clothes to pick up his girlfriend just
to show how rich he is trying to make the girl flattered.
2. Conflict avoidance: The
best way to avoid conflict is to act sweet specially to those
who like people with soft voices. People who follow the art
of Impression Management never try to win an argument. They
believe in, “Never win an argument, you often lose a friend”.
E.g. Reconciling with the other person in spite of knowing
that he was wrong and himself believes in, “A reconciled friend
is double enemy”.
impression at a job interview
People take care of the following things for managing impression
at the time of appearing for an interview:
1. Dressing Style: No matter
how old or dirty shirt they usually wear but at the D-day, they
will wear the best of their collections or many a times even a new
2. Punctuality: Some people
have a habit of procrastinating work for the end moment which sometimes
leads to overshoot the deadline but they will make sure that they
reach the interview center well before time just to show that they
3. Humility: Some people are
very arrogant by nature but during those 15 minutes of the interview,
to crack the interview, they try to act as humble as possible just
because they know how much important this trait is.
4. Body Language: People take
personality development classes before appearing for an interview.
There they learn that no matter how much stressed the interview
is, always try to carry a smile and try not to cross legs or to
On the contrary, these days many interviews
are supplemented with psychometric tests of personality to know
that, is the candidate faking the interview or trying to fit-in
for the job?
As this it is likely to lead to problems down the line as the true
I would like to explain my point of
view by taking Satyam as an example. As you all are aware, they
managed the impression of being a financially sound company which
helped them to maintain their stock price to a high level. But internally
the company was in fraudulent activities which led their debacle
resulting in degrading its own reputation. Thus, Using Impression
Management any organization can achieve success but it is always
short lived. No matter how much you try to deceive, someday or the
other the truth comes out.
At the last I want to quote that,
“By Impression Management, you can get on by on charm on someone
for just the first 15 minutes, after that you better know something”
Writer: Pranav Chawla
B.E. (Polymer), MIT Pune, MBA (Operations + Marketing), IMT Nagpur