How other people see you – being your most authentic ‘you’

I have always been fascinated as to how other people see you. By that I mean what do they actually see in you as a person, what is their ‘take’ on you?

What do you represent in their eyes?

With your family do they see a loving husband/wife, someone gentle and patient with their children? At work is that person viewed as driven, hard-nosed, impatient?

It’s the same person seen by others to show a different dimension of their personality in different situations.

Recently I had the interesting experience of being a model for the art class that my neighbour belongs to. It does not require any talent (fortunately) just the ability to sit still for two one hour sessions staring into space and trying to make my face take on more ‘character’ so that the group of eager illustrators around me had something slightly worthwhile to draw. Sixteen people all having a different angle to look at gives rise to 16 different viewpoints, a few of which are featured here.

Just as with the way that people get an impression of what and who you are (albeit briefly sometimes) by the way that you are encountered in various day to day situations so it was with the art class when it came to their illustrations of me.

At the end of the sitting I was eager to see what the results were of all the scratching of pencils, chalk and inks. I had asked beforehand if it would be ok if I took pictures of the finished ‘works of art’ so as I went to each of the artists to capture their masterpieces I was surprised at the variations of what my face represented to them.

Even given the differences in skill levels amongst the group they had found something in the drawings that I could mostly identify with (at a bit of a stretch)! It might be the eyes in one, the shape of my face or hair or nose in others. However, there were three notable exceptions. In one I looked like a wanted poster pinned outside the sheriffs office in Dodge City another depicted me as a rather “interesting” Edwardian and one seemed like a reworking of “The Scream”

But maybe that is what those visualisers saw in me and that was what they drew. Scary!

Two of the illustrations I felt were really ‘me’, or what I see as being me.

I had been defined in 16 different ways. Sixteen different viewpoints!

This made me think carefully about how others see you. Who are you to all the people that you meet and who know you?

The Beatles song Eleanor Rigby has the line “wearing the face that she keeps in a jar by the door, who is it for?”

How many faces do you wear and who are they for? In business which face do you show your colleagues, clients or business partners? Is it a different one depending upon who you are meeting? If so, why? People are clever enough to know if you are acting. Be you!

By David Kentish – follow me on Twitter @david_kentish

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