Personal Development
Impression Management: Developing Your Self-Presentation ...

Impression Management: Developing Your Self-Presentation ...

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Impression Management: Leveraging the Power of Social Interactions

We know the transformative impact that a good first impression can have, yet few of us have the know-how to make this happen. Instead, we often rely on two personas: our relaxed self when we have no need to impress, and our �on� persona when we become very aware of our words and body language. Although social media raises an extra layer of pressure when it comes to our image, it doesn�t mean that we have to be inauthentic. To use impression management in a strategic manner to emphasize our positive traits, we must understand the concept.

Erving Goffman, a Canadian social psychologist, sociologist, and writer, introduced the idea of impression management in the 1950s in his book, The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life. His dramaturgical analysis, using theatre as a metaphor for human social interaction, is a useful framework to gain perspectives on human behavior.

Impression management can be thought of as an accumulation of both intentional and unintentional actions we take to influence the perceptions others have of us. Although it can be used to manipulate people, it doesn�t have to be � it is more to ensure that we reach our goals. The self-presentation theory is often linked to impression management, as it is the intention to draw attention to the qualities we want to be known for.

In most cases, we want to be seen as confident, likeable, intelligent, capable, and interesting. To achieve this, we take action that exemplifies these traits. This is closely related to cognitive dissonance, which is the mental discomfort we feel when we are doing something that goes against our beliefs or values. Commonly, we can resolve this by changing our beliefs or behavior to match what we believe.

Goffman�s dramaturgical analysis identifies three components that guide our behavior in a given situation: motives, self-presentation, and social context. Motives are the qualities we emphasize to reach our desired result, self-presentation is the act of conforming to our self-image and other people�s expectations, and social context is the environment we are in.

Impression management is a process that gives us the leverage to emphasize our positive qualities and to present ourselves in the best way possible. By being mindful of our motives, self-presentation, and social context, we can use the right tactics to improve our performance in the workplace, effectively convey our message, and be well-prepared for any situation.

Impression Management in the Workplace

It is essential to vigorously maintain our public image in our work life, as it is important to abide by social norms. This is known as impression management and it can be employed both internally and externally in the workplace. Most people have a 'work persona', a set of behaviors that they tailor depending on who they are talking to, be it colleagues, customers, or employers. Depending on a situation, impression management can be used to influence how we are perceived � from job interviews to networking events.

Impression Management: A Guide to Strengthening Relationships

Impression management is the practice of controlling how we are perceived by others. From our clothing and language to our body language and the people we associate with, we make dozens of decisions each day influenced by how we believe others will view us. Understanding the different tactics of impression management is key to strengthening relationships and making a good impression.

Types of Impression Management Tactics

Goffman outlines seven different types of impression management tactics which include conformity, excuses, acclaim, flattery, self-promotion, favors, and association. Let's take a look at each of them in more detail.

  • Conformity
  • Conformity is all about being accepted by a larger group. This means playing by their rules and upholding their social norms and expectations. For instance, it could be something as simple as following a dress code or using appropriate language in the workplace. If you try to be too different or stand out too much, it can often be viewed negatively.
  • Excuses
  • We've all made excuses at one time or another. Generally speaking, people don't respond well to excuses and they can easily come across as insincere. That being said, real emergencies and setbacks do happen and it's important to be understanding of them.
  • Acclaim
  • Public recognition is a great way of building rapport in the workplace. When you acclaim someone, you are essentially applauding them for their accomplishments and this can often have a positive effect on their motivation. If you work in a team-based environment, positive recognition can be a great way of encouraging others to work hard.
  • Flattery
  • Flattery is one of the most widely used techniques when it comes to impression management. Those who are good at flattery can often be seen as perceptive and agreeable, two qualities that are highly prized in the workplace. That being said, it's important not to go overboard with your compliments and make sure that they come across as genuine.
  • Self-Promotion
  • Self-promotion is a great way of highlighting your strengths and drawing attention to your achievements. It can be a little daunting, especially if you're worried about seeming boastful, but it's important to make sure that you feel confident in your own abilities. Look for spaces, such as job interviews or professional networking events, where talking about yourself is expected and take advantage of them.
  • Favors
  • Doing favors for others is a great way of shifting the power dynamic of a relationship and establishing yourself as someone who is useful and reliable. However, if favors are given with strings attached, they will likely be seen as manipulative and result in resentment. It's important to make sure that favors are given out of genuine kindness and with no expectation of reward.

The Power of Association

Sometimes, we consciously associate with certain people to promote our self-image. By networking, we can gain access to a larger network of contacts. However, it is essential that the information shared about yourself, your company, and your partners is truthful and relevant as it can significantly affect the impressions that people form about you.


Impression management is an important aspect of the workplace and can have a significant impact on our ability to influence and build relationships with our colleagues. There are several different techniques that can be used, such as conformity, excuses, acclaim, flattery, self-promotion, and favors. It's important to be aware of how these techniques can be used, both positively and negatively, and to make sure that you are using them in the right way.

Impression Management: Learn to Manage Your Persona

Having a good understanding of impression management and how to manage your own persona can empower you to thrive in social situations, and understand the behavior of others. Impression management is a concept discussed in the field of professional development, which refers to the process of actively managing how one presents themselves to others in order to achieve a certain goal. This includes controlling the way people perceive them and how their behaviors are reflected.

Strategies and Techniques for Managing Your Impression

There are several different strategies and techniques for managing one's impression and creating a positive one in the eyes of others. Noticing involves paying attention to the reactions of those around you and adjusting your behavior based on that feedback. Additionally, self-presentation skills such as posture, attire, and even facial expressions can be used to create a favorable impression. Finally, making a good first impression should not be overlooked, as it is often the initial impressions that are the most lasting.

Seeking Guidance from a Coach

Having a better understanding of how to manage your own persona and create a positive impression can be obtained with the help of a coach. A coach can provide guidance on what you need to project more (or less) of to get what you want, while also providing advice on how to manage the impressions that others have of you. With the help of a coach, individuals can learn how to better manage their own persona, increase their professional standing, create a favorable self-image, and thrive in social situations.

Creating Positive Impressions through Association

Creating positive impressions and strengthening relationships can build mutual affinity in a relationship. This is done through association, which involves ensuring that any information shared about yourself, your company, and your partners is truthful and relevant. Utilizing impression management techniques effectively can help individuals create a positive impression in the eyes of others.


Having a good understanding of impression management and how to manage your own persona can help you achieve various goals, from making a good first impression to increasing your professional standing. Taking the time to learn the different strategies and techniques for managing impressions can be beneficial, as well as seeking guidance from an experienced coach. Utilizing these methods effectively can help you create a positive impression in the eyes of others.

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