Impression Management (Goffman)
This article provides a practical explanation of Impression Management. After reading, you'll understand the basics of this powerful communication skills tool.
What is Impression Management (IM)? The definition
Impression Management (IM), also called self-presentation, is the conscious or subconscious process in which people attempt to influence others' perception about a person, object or event by regulating and controlling information in social interactions.
Additionally, the Impression Management theory elaborates on the fact that people must ensure that their perceptions and cognitions are consistent with goals and actions. Read more about cognitive dissonance in the consistency theory.
People will always present themselves as positively as possible to others. Most people often wonder what others will think of them when they do, don't do or say something. That's no different in the business world. Take a company's marketing activities, for example.
Salespeople will try their best to present their product or service as positively as possible. In fact, it's their job to manage the impressions of the public and the potential consumer to maximise the results. A more everyday example is the boy who buys flashy new football shoes because he knows scouts will be coming to the match.
Erving Goffman and Impression Management
Impression Management was first conceptualised in 1959 by Erving Goffman. The work was first published in 'The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life'. The concept was expanded on in 1967.
Research into Impression Management was developed along two different pathways. One of these was aimed at factors that influence the kind of impressions people try to convey to others. The other path leads to eleven different presentation perspectives.
These perspectives include conformity, aggression, leadership, stigmatisation, and mental and physical health. This article discusses each of the eleven self-presentation techniques.
Techniques and examples in Impression Management
Impression management refers to people's attempts to control and influence the impression others have of them. There are approximately seven Impression Management techniques. These techniques are all used in daily life. At work, at home and during other occasions.
Conformity means being accepted and is intended to let others enjoy the surroundings or the people in the surroundings. This technique is applied by companies when they have emplo...
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