Art of Creating an Apt Impression


K.B. Sridevi
MBA, M.Phil, (Ph.D)
Asst. Professor
Department of Management Studies
Fatima College

Impression plays a central role in determining acceptance by the social group. Every individual, either a politician or a power loom employee has a tendency to impress others in a socially desirable way. That is the art of impression management Self-presentation.

Impressions that you are creating will decide whether you are accepted or rejected and it confirms the degree of acceptance that you are going to experience as a member of any group.


There are two components in the process of impression management and those two are:

* Impression Motivation
* Impression construction


It is a situation, when an individual has become motivated to present himself in a favorable manner as how others perceive him. For instance, an employee is presenting himself in a way desired by his employer and it depends on a number of factors such as:

* Relevancy of the impression with the employees goals
* Value of this goals
* Degree of discrepancy between the individual's expected impression and existing impression. Where the expected impression is how the individual expects his boss to perceive him. Existing impression is the actual impression, what the boss is currently holding about the employee.

Degree of discrepancy

* If the expected impression is same as the existing impression, then he will continue to have the same impression.
* When existing impression is deviated from the expected impression then the individual will move to the next phase of impression management that is impression construction.


In this phase, one is deciding his specific type of impression, which will assure him of achieving the expected impression. The Basic factors for the impression construction are:

* Self Concept
* Identity Images
* Role Constraints
* Target Values
* Existing Social Image

Self Concept:

"Individuals attempts to understand their self are called Self Concept ".

One's self is an unique combination of many interacting components like intelligence, emotion, optimism, efficacy etc., As the individual is analyzing his self, he is learning to project his positives in a desirable manner and also minimizes his negatives to construct the expected image.

Identity Image:

After analyzing the self, the individual is designing an image by which he wants others to identify him. This Identified image leads to expected image. For achieving this expected image, he will find out the characteristics of the image and the degree of projection of his traits and qualities.

Role constraint:

His role in the group or organization must be facilitating him to achieve the expected image roles.

Role Expectation:

"How others believe you should act in a given situation". One's Behavior is determined to a maximum extent by this role expectation. Similarly, in the work place it can be helpful to look at Role expectation through the perspective of psychological contract.

Psychological contract: There is an unwritten agreement that sets out what management expects from employee and vice versa. In effect, this contract defines, the Behaviour expected that go with every role. Therefore, when an employee moves away from this expectation, it may results in management's disciplinary action against him and even leads to firing. Therefore, Psychological contract is a powerful determiner of Behaviour of the individuals in the organization.

If one is well aware of his role expectation and the concerned psychological contract, and matches him with that, then he can create an apt impression with full confidence.

Target Values:

Target values refer to the desirable end state of existence. Any person would like to achieve these goals during his lifetime.

As per Rokeach Value Survey, top 5 terminal (target) values of 3 categories of employees are listed:

S. No

Corporate Executive

Union Member



Self Respect

Family Security



Family Security


A World of Peace




Family Security


Sense of Accomplishment

Self Respect

Self Respect



Mature Love


Target values will help the individual to frame his goals and in turn to achieve these goals; he will identify an expected impression to construct.

Existing social image:

It is the status given to the individual or his group by others. Status is an important factor in motivating and influencing human Behaviour in such a way to achieve the expected impression.

When individual perceive a difference between what they believe their image to be and what others perceive it to be i.e., when the expected image is differing from the existing image then behavioral modifications will occur in order to gain a desirable social image.

Guidelines for impression construction:

1. Always be frank and open.  Admit mistakes.  Never lie or even shade the truth.  If there is the faintest suspicion that you are not perfectly straightforward, your boss will never trust you again.
2. Aim to help your boss to be right.  This does not mean being subservient or timeserving.  Recognize, however, that you exist to give him support in the right direction.
3. Respond fast to his requests on a can do/will do basis.
4. Do not trouble him with your problems.
5. Provide him with protection where required.  Loyalty is an old-fashioned virtue, but you owe it to your boss.  If you cannot be loyal to him then you should get out from under as quick as you can.
6. Avoid half-baked suggestions.  Your boss wants answers and not questions.

Best Impression will help you in building better rapport with your social group. To make your work place as a peaceful one, you should win more friends rather than enemies.

K.B. Sridevi
MBA, M.Phil, (Ph.D)
Asst. Professor
Department of Management Studies
Fatima College

Source: E-mail February 23, 2011


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