Do you think people in your office have the wrong impression of you?  You swear you’re a great person that’s easy to like but your office mates don’t seem to agree and you can’t figure out why.  While part of you wants to channel their inner Joan Jett, part of you understands that your bad reputation needs to change.

An article from Entrepreneur Magazine says that once folks form an opinion of a person, they unknowingly look for behaviors that will support their opinion. If someone thinks you are lazy, they’ll only notice the ‘lazy’ things you do and disregard any instance where you take on more than your fair share.

The solution: ask for feedback!  Suck up your pride and see if one or two of your closer colleagues would be willing to point out any instance where you displayed bad behavior.  After a few days of getting feedback on your ‘bad’ behaviors, you’ll start to be more aware of them and make the changes necessary.  Eventually, people will begin to notice that you’re trying to improve and their opinions of you will begin to shift.

But beware: if you are not 100% committed to changing people’s opinion of you, this strategy will backfire.  Asking for feedback but NOT taking the advice suggested will only draw more attention to your bad behavior and further people’s poor opinion of you.

You never know when you need someone to act as a referral for you; make sure it’s a great one.