I find myself attempting to relate all of the information that we have learned within this course to be a learning experience. Looking for the information to change how I am doing things in my life to better my experiences outside of the “classroom” so to speak. One topic that really caught my attention in the lesson on applying social psychology to organization is the concept of selective perception.
Selective perception is noted by Schneider, Gruman, and Coutts (2012) as rewarding or reprimanding one person’s behavior while not noticing when others do the same behavior. This type of perception can sometime sneak up on someone as a manager and it is a very easy thing to fall into. Being aware of such flaws in perception, a person can make constant efforts to avoid this error and be more fair to his or her employees.
I have thought about many times when this has happened and in supervising many employees it can become a bit commonplace. Sometimes behaviors of one person will stick out to you, whereas others may not be noticed. They fly under the radar, so to speak. As a manager, understanding this and making yourself aware of this is the best way to curb this altogether and learning about this topic has changed the way in which I manage. I have spent a good deal of time in the last few months evaluating the ways in which I am fair and I am working to reduce my selective perception in daily situations at work. Because of this awareness, I have been much more cognizant about the actions of my employees and the consistency in dealing with different situations which have arisen.
Development of manager trainings in selective perception would be beneficial for many different agencies. This type of perception can become problematic, especially when it regards disciplinary action or performance of an employee. Through my experience, I noticed that I was much more aware of my perceptions during day to day experiences that I felt as though I was handling situations more fairly, and I am sure that other managers could have the same experience. By learning about this perception flaw, people who are in leadership positions could develop their own styles to avoid falling into this flaw. Ongoing evaluation of the consistency and fairness of a manager is important to ensuring success and employee satisfaction, so any program which encourages such could benefit the organization as a whole.
Although my experience could be unique to me, I tend to believe that this experience and understanding of this concept would be beneficial to others in leadership positions. I learned about my own perceptions and moved towards a more consistent leadership style. This seems as though it would be an easy trap to fall back into so ongoing evaluation of my own personal skills is important, and would be important to anyone looking to grow as a leader and avoid selective perceptions when dealing with their employees.
Schneider, F., Gruman, J. & Coutts, L. (2012). Applied social psychology: understanding and addressing social and practical problems. Los Angeles: Sage.