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The power of perception

How subjective experience and emotional intelligence impact communication in the realm of the professional workplace

By Saadia Khan |
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PUBLISHED August 29, 2021

Since the dawn of the human civilisation, evolving forms of communication have always been the pre-eminent factor of betterment towards building a courteous, association of human race. Likewise, to ensure attainment of absolute measured outcome from a business environment, there is just no substitute of effective business communication. So it is of utmost significance that the employees maintain a meaningful communication not only with each other but also with the domestic staff. The following is a self-conducted research study, i.e. my observation, of an individual’s perception and its impact on formal communication in the work environment. Our perception (which is formed through assimilation and accommodation according to Piaget’s Theory of Cognition. Our environment i.e. Nature and Nurture both play a pivotal role in developing our Schema about our environment. This is actually an amalgamation of our education, upbringing and attitude) which has an indisputable and obvious influence on (how we connect with others) communication in our work environment.

At work, I communicate with people from all walks of life. They have various educational backgrounds, different religions, cultures and upbringing. I have observed, people with positive perception, effective interpersonal skills and broadened horizon are usually empathetic, good humored and emotionally intelligent.

Perception is the way we perceive everything around us. Our response in everyday life, depends on our understanding. Perception is our understanding of the world around us. It involves both recognizing environmental stimuli and actions in response to these stimuli. Through the perceptual process, we attain information about the environment that are critical to our survival. Perception not only creates our experience of the world around us; it allows us to act within our environment. So again, in words of Rumi, “the beauty you see in me is a reflection of you.”

The Psychology of positive perception:

Co- workers, employees should communicate in a very dignified, congenial manner. In words of Carl W Buechner, “They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you make them feel”. All of us communicate with one another non-verbally, as well as in words. We gesture with eyebrows, or a handshake, eye contact, attire, body posture, even shift position in a chair. These actions we assume are random and incidental. But researchers have discovered in recent years, that there is a system to them, almost as consistent and comprehensible as language. People hear our words, but more, they see our attitude.

Emotional Intelligence (EI), also known as Emotional Quotient (EQ), is the ability to manage one’s emotions and the emotions of others. The term emotional intelligence first appeared in a 1964 paper by Michael Beldoch and gained popularity in 1995 in a book written by science journalist Daniel Goleman. Emotional Intelligence comes with Self-awareness, Self- regulation, motivation, empathy and social skills.


Speaking of happiness and congeniality is not easy. The word may sound dainty, extremely delicate in addition to being an ambivalent term, because it is mainly associated with beliefs, moods, personal convictions, particular circumstances, and a number of factors that may even lead us to being unsure about what we mean when we use this word. However, the concept has a long tradition in the area of philosophical moral reflection, which can be clearly seen in the fact that all philosophy, both Western and Eastern, have considered happiness one of the prime aspects on which to reflect when seeking to discover, on one hand, the true meaning of life and on the other, the key that illuminates good praxis or custom, as well as what we should do to act well and to be good.

Naturally, the answers to such profound and unavoidable questions have changed according to historical periods, cultural contexts, and even to the frame of mind of different thinkers. While for Comte-Sponville (2011) to be happy is to enjoy and celebrate, for Crespin, happiness is a life without regret (Montaigne, 2007). In turn, from the eudaemonic orthodoxy perspective, Balmes (1940) suggested that happiness is the reward for exercising virtue. Furthermore, Russell (1964) stated that the happy man is one who does not feel failure in any aspect and whose personality is not cleaved against himself or rises against the world. If there is a philosopher who offers, with his comprehensive thinking, clear consideration on the meaning of happiness in human life, it is Aristotle. As is well known, in his famous work Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle understood happiness as the result of a vital process (Aristotle, 1981) in which the individual configures his or her character (ethos) as second nature into exercising virtue. Ultimately, it is worth mentioning that being happy does not consist in performing actions of a specific type, fulfilling a number of orders, or abiding by imperatives predetermined from a stance of practical rationality. Being happy is the result of having a full life and of being fortunate in having a good moral character acquired

I feel every employ should create a positive, productive, happy and congenial work environment. Being happy is not a type of action, but rather the results of actions which are performed such that ultimately one can be happy and can feel fulfilled in all dimensions and facets (Agejas et al, 2007). Thus, we can say that happiness is a consistent value; that is, it is the result of a lifestyle or certain actions. Indeed, speaking of happiness often refers to the feeling of satisfaction that follows the completion of a task we thought we should do. “Feeling accomplished” means precisely this, to have done something that was pending and to have done it successfully. Through these actions we feel validated and our self-esteem grows. We believe that our presence is useful and feel encouraged to continue in the same lines, happiness is not something that is attained once and for all, Aristotle expressly cited the Greek saying, “one swallow does not make a summer”, but that while life is presented as a faciendum, we intend to continue to gain happiness by our future actions. “Being happy” is thus a gerund, not a participle; it is not something “done”, but something that “keeps on being done” (Maslow, 1989).

The manager and seniors must know that the workers’ happiness depends on having positive experiences in their work environment, opportunities to demonstrate and accomplish their abilities (their “genius”), and a sense of belonging to something bigger than themselves. If these conditions are met, they may feel their sacrifice is worth it. A leader or a manager must keep the following questions in mind in order to keep the environment congenial.

  1. Do employees enjoy their relationships and their work environment?
  2. Are team members’ skills and abilities put into action?
  3. Do they understand the purpose or mission of the company?
  4. Do they feel accomplishment are they a part of something that really matters?

In words of Paulo Coelho: “Each human being is unique, each with their own qualities, instincts, forms of pleasure, and desire for adventure. However, society always imposes on us a collective ways of behaving, and people never stop to wonder why they should behave like that”. Keeping the innovative, unique personalities of ours in mind. If we all believe in ourselves. When we feel confident, the way we present ourselves to the world changes. People believe in us. We become more likely to be successful in work, sports, or other activities. What’s more, the way we present ourselves can have a profound impact on the new opportunities that come our way.

It seems important to understand the impact of organizational behavior on happiness at work and workers’ perceptions of it. It would also be of interest to determine which organizational factors and which aspects of workers’ perceptions have a greater impact on job satisfaction, because we consider it the most relevant due to its direct consequences on individuals and organizations. As mentioned, happiness at work often refers to the feeling of satisfaction that follows a task that turns out as we thought it would. To conclude, a positive work environment is far more productive and creative then a negative environment, as sarcasm, politics, rifts, malicious games only cause illusion, delusion and complete confusion in the work environment. Therefore, every worker should improve and groom themselves in all the aspects mentioned above to create a congenial work environment.