ABSTRACT

The focus of this chapter is on the theory and techniques of impression management, and their application on the job (Giacalone and Rosenfeld, 1986, 1989; Gray, 2002). This area has been extensively researched by academics whose findings are summarized here. Impression management consists of two aspects. First, impression motivation which is the desire of individuals to generate specific impressions in others’ minds in order to maximize their social and material outcomes, maintain self-esteem or cultivate a particular public identity. Second, impression construction, the process of choosing the kind of impression to create and deciding exactly what behaviours would be effective in transmitting such an image (Leary and Kowalski, 1990). Bertold Brecht said, ‘It is not the play but the performance that is the real purpose of all one’s efforts.’ It is not enough to look the part, you have to act it as well. This not only assures your credibility with your audience, but is also a way to acquire power. Act powerful, and you will become powerful!