Don’t Judge A Book By Its Cover – Reading People Right

Facebook Page cover Inspirofreak.jpgzdQ6MJ6aTfin1FtFQLrt_Hi_FamilyFriendsFollowersI_am_expanding_my_audience._If_you_want_to_follow_my_journey_you_can_do_it_hereFollow_me_on_WorBy Inspirofreak

Things are not always what they appear – that is one of the problems with perception.

People form judgements and make conclusions about the motives and characteristics of others. Depending on personality and past experiences, people infer and judge differently. Keep reading to get some tips on how to improve your perception skills and get a better read on people…


Why Should I Develop My Perception?

First impressions are based on very little information and are influenced by factors such as social norms, stereotypes and physical cues such as dress. Implicit personality theories are collections of beliefs and assumptions that everyone has linking certain traits to other characteristics and behaviors.

What Is Your Perception?

According to Huffington Post: “South Africans are the people most likely to perceive things to be worse than they actually are, Ipsos’ 2017 survey entitled “Perils of Perception” has revealed.”

One very common perception bias is the fundamental attribution error, where people tend to blame circumstances for their own failings, yet blame the failure of others on their personalities.

The Primary Effect

We usually draw a conclusion about a person from their looks. This then affects how we treat that person. The first thing we find out about a person have the most influence on our judgments about them e.g.

  • A person’s weight. Overweight people are often seen as undisciplined, disorganized, and unattractive.
  • The clothes a person wears. We jump to conclusions about a person’s success, professionalism and even talent based on their wardrobe.
  • A person’s age.
  • Whether a person is male or female.

Is it possible to stop judging people on external factors?

Our minds tend to quickly jump to conclusions about people with little real evidence. Discrimination of this type is not good for us. It robs us of opportunities to build relationships with healthy, loving, intelligent people. This is what separates humans from other animals: We can choose our behavior.

Sum up a person more accurately by asking yourself the following questions:

  1. Are they a person of integrity? Do they have a proven track record of honesty, authenticity, and openness?
  2. How do they treat others close to them? How do they treat others that are ill, in need, or have problems? Do they make any kind of meaningful contribution to the world for which they volunteer or earn very little?
  3. Where have they applied their skill and talent?

Develop Active Listening Skills

Become an active listener by making a conscious effort to hear not only the words, but more importantly, try to understand the complete message being sent.

  1. Pay attention – give the speaker your undivided attention
  2. Show that you are listening – use your own body language and gestures to convey your attention
  3. Provide feedback – reflect what is being said by asking questions, paraphrasing and summarizing the speaker’s comments periodically
  4. Defer judgment – don’t interrupt with counter agreements
  5. Respond appropriately – assert your opinions respectfully

I’ll leave you with a thought provoking quote. Think about how you feel when others judge/perceive you inaccurately. Going forward, be mindful of your perception, and keep your biases in check:

“Do not judge me until you know me. Do not underestimate me until you have challenged me AND do not talk about me until you have talked to me.” – Unknown


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Get Your Online Team Engaged And Motivated


Get Your Online Team Engaged and Motivated

By Inspirofreak


A study done by Gallup revealed that only 13% of workers say that they are actively engaged. Only 28% of employees said that the company are making use of their full skills, and that 2 out of 3 millennials are expecting to leave their jobs by 2020 . Employee turnover costs a company an estimated 1.5 times the employee’s salary. Online teams miss out on the social aspects of a work environment. Using technology to their advantage will help teams engage and motivate each other professionally and personally.


Employee engagement drivers


Working online has many benefits, but brings unique challenges. Keeping teams motivated and engaged has to be planned for. Employment engagement drivers include MEANING (that your job has a purpose), AUTONOMY (flexibility to fit your job into your environment so it suits you), GROWTH (being challenged so you can progress), IMPACT (positive outcomes as a result of your work) and CONNECTION (sense of belonging).


Recognition is key


Most of employee recognition systems still focus on long service. Employees don’t feel that they get enough recognition. According to Human Resources Today, the number 1 reason people resign is limited recognition and praise. 40% of workers would work harder if their employer made effort to recognize them often.


Employees feel disconnected


Online employees have a need to bond with management to maintain a meaningful relationships. Management has a huge influence on employee engagement scores. Companies that focus on increased engagement and motivation experienced 10% higher ratings from customers, a 21% higher profitability and 20% increase in productivity, which leads to lower turnover and lower absenteeism.


What is your gamification strategy?

Many companies make use of gamification tools to boost online employee performance, engagement and motivation. Think games and challenges, leaderboards and badges. Badgeville, Bunchball, Workplace Arcade and GamEffective are some of the products that can be used. Companies could launch challenges, set up teams and award tangible prizes.


Using Social Media to your advantage

Forbes has reported that Social Media can boost online employee engagement.  Facebook has launched Workplace to cater for the corporate world. This is a dedicated space where employees can connect, collaborate with and motivate each other. The advantage of using such a space is that most people knows how it works if they use Facebook. Other services in the market are Slack, Yammer and G Suite. It increases efficiency and minimizes email. Having a home channel/group where colleagues can share photos etc. that are not work related can make them more productive while being part of an online team.


Building engagement from the ground up


Define your measures and goals. You cannot force people to be active on social media. Measurable targets for engagement will help you know what you are aiming for. Share interesting and relevant content. Help your employees understand why they should get involved. Ongoing communication is crucial. Use incentives and gamification. Offer Social Media Training. Weave the social media activity into their everyday responsibilities.


Having online teams are advantageous for business, as long as there are steps being taken to actively engage and motivate team members. Establishing a sense of community will communicate that you care, remember, a happy worker is a productive worker.


Thanks for taking the time to read this, if you’ve found it valuable, like my page @Inspirofreak Personal Development on Facebook, or follow my blog @ for more.

Jana du Toit



Office Politics and conflict in the workplace… How to deal.


By Inspirofreak

Definition of Office Politics: When people use their reactions to say what they think others would want to hear instead of saying what they want to say. People are unwilling to experience interpersonal discomfort, and rather try to avoid conflict, than working things out.

Backstabbing, indirect attacks, gossip, bullying, credit-takers, criticisers…all of these types of people and scenarios are caused/worsened by unwillingness to confront the situation/person head-on.

Open, constructive conflict is productive. If no-one is able to raise their point of view, and stand up for it, the team will struggle to make decisions and won’t feel like being vounerable with each other, which in turn leads to absence of trust.

Renée Everson created a 5 step process where she teaches us how to navigate through any kind of conflict situation in the workplace.

First, some basic rules for dealing with conflict are:

-Always remain calm and treat others with respect.

-Don’t overreact. Calm down first before confronting someone.

-Don’t try to change people, focus only on changing the behaviour.

-Avoid complaining to people about others

-If the discussion gets heated, end the discussion and cool off  before attempting to resolve conflict.

Step 1 Think first

Play out various scenarios. Focus on the facts. Don’t assume. Maintain objectivity. Perceive each person’s personality and think it through from their point of view.

Do not begin with a “You” statement. Always use “I” phrases when starting the conversation. Think about how the event/situation made you feel.

Step 2 Understanding

Talk about it to the other person. Gain additional facts. Allow the person to vent without interrupting. Let the person know that he/she might be viewing the situation differently.

Step 3 Define the problem/Offer your best solution

Make eye contact. State the problem. Allow others to agree or offer a solution.

Step 4 Compromise

See if you can come to a win win solution for the problem.

Step 5 Resolution/Reconciliation

Make sure everyone agrees with the resolution. Add a positive statement to reconfirm the relationship i.e. “I’m glad we had this chat, I enjoy working with you.”

Where does a team make their biggest mistakes? According to Patrick Lencioni, there are 5 interrelated dysfunctions of a team:

1. Lack of trust

Trust in a team context means that teammembers know that their peers’ intentions are good, and that there is no reason to be protective/careful around the group.

2. Fear of Conflict

A lack of conflict will mean that no-one really agrees on decisions, so they don’t buy-in to what is decided.

3. Lack of commitment

People are generally willing to commit but they need to agree with the action plan.

4. Avoidance of accountability

If the team does not agree on the action plan, they will not want to be held accountable.

5.Inattention to results

If there is no accountability, there will be an inattention to results.

From all that we have learnt here, it is clear that a fear of dealing with conflict leads to unnecessary office politics. Rather face each and every problem head on, than having to deal with the gossip, bacstabbing, bullying etc. later. Remember, you teach people how to treat you.

Thanks for taking the time to read this, if you liked it, like my page @Inspirofreak, or follow me @ for more.

Jana du Toit