Impressions Management

Impressions Management at Work: 6 Effective Tips for Managers

As a manager, you are constantly being watched by your team, peers, and superiors. As a result, how you present yourself and manage the impressions you make on others can greatly impact your effectiveness as a leader. This is where impression management comes into play. 

This blog post will dive deep into understanding management of impressions and why managers and leaders need to master it. We will also look at various techniques to help you manage your impressions effectively in the workplace. By the end of this post, you will have learned to be mindful of how you come across to those around you, build positive relationships with your team, and confidently lead.

Understanding Impressions Management

Maintaining a positive image within the workplace is crucial for managers to build trust and credibility. Impression management helps managers control how their employees perceive them, ultimately affecting interpersonal relationships and team dynamics. Effective impression management involves various factors, from nonverbal cues like body language to consistency in behavior and communication. Active listening skills are also essential for managers to understand their employees’ perspectives and tailor their communication accordingly. By being transparent and authentic, managers can create a positive impression and foster a productive work environment.

What is Impression Management?

Managing how others perceive you is essential to navigating professional settings. Impression management involves consciously creating and maintaining a positive image of oneself through behavior, communication, and appearance. Managers who master impression management can establish trust with their team members, build credibility, and promote positive relationships within their workplace. Effective impression management requires authenticity, consistency in behavior, and a focus on building trust in the workplace. By doing so, managers can impact how those around them perceive their leadership skills.

Why is Impression Management Important for Managers and Leaders?

Effective impression management is crucial for managers and leaders as it can significantly impact how their employees view them and their leadership style. By carefully managing their impression, managers can build employee trust and respect, leading to improved teamwork and productivity. Skilled managers, mindful of their nonverbal cues, communication style, and behavior, project a positive image that inspires confidence in their abilities. 

However, finding a balance between projecting a positive image and being true to oneself is essential. Over-reliance on impression management techniques can backfire, leading to a lack of authenticity and trustworthiness. Therefore, managers must build authentic relationships with their employees while maintaining consistent behavior and communication styles.

Types of Impression Management Techniques


Effective managers use various impression management techniques to build positive relationships and inspire confidence in their team. Conformity is one such technique that involves adjusting your behavior to fit in with group or organizational norms. This technique can help managers create a positive image and build rapport with their team. Still, it’s crucial to balance conformity with authenticity and not compromise on core values or beliefs. 


Excuses are a common tactic used by individuals to protect their reputations and prevent negative evaluations. While excuses can be genuine and reasonable, they can also be perceived as a lack of accountability and responsibility. However, overusing excuses can harm one’s credibility and hinder professional growth. As managers, it is vital to encourage employees to take ownership of their actions and provide support when needed. In addition, developing a culture of accountability can lead to greater trust within the workplace and foster a sense of responsibility among team members.


Acknowledging and appreciating employee accomplishments is a critical aspect of effective management of impressions. Acclaim is an impression management technique that can help managers build positive relationships with their employees while boosting their morale and self-esteem. In addition, by recognizing and praising an employee’s contributions in front of others, managers can foster a sense of pride and satisfaction among team members, increasing motivation and productivity.

However, ensuring that the acclaim is specific, genuine, and not overused is essential. Managers should be mindful of the employee’s personality type and the timing and setting of the praise. Additionally, avoiding showing favoritism or using acclaim as a form of manipulation is essential. Acclaim can help managers create a positive workplace culture where employees feel valued and appreciated for their hard work when used correctly.


Managers often use flattery to motivate their employees and promote positive relationships. Managers can boost their confidence and inspire them to do better by praising an employee’s work or personal attributes. However, it is essential to note that flattery should be used sparingly and combined with other impression management techniques for best results. Overusing flattery can come across as insincere and lead to a loss of trust. Instead, compliments should be genuine and specific to an employee’s achievements or qualities. 


Self-promotion is an essential impression management technique that managers and leaders must master. It involves showcasing one’s strengths and accomplishments in the workplace. By promoting themselves, managers can establish credibility and demonstrate their value to the organization. However, being mindful of how others perceive self-promotion is also essential. Effective self-promotion requires a delicate balance between highlighting one’s achievements while remaining humble and grounded. Self-promotion can increase visibility, recognition, and career advancement opportunities when done correctly.


As a manager, using favors as an impression management technique can help you build positive relationships with your employees. By offering flexible schedules or opportunities for professional development, you demonstrate that you value their contributions and are invested in their success. However, it’s essential to exercise caution when using favors. Managers should avoid showing favoritism in the workplace and ensure that all employees receive equal treatment. Clear communication about intentions is also crucial when using favors as an impression management tool to prevent employee misunderstandings or resentment. Ultimately, using favors ethically and authentically can lead to increased job satisfaction and productivity within the workplace.

Impression Management Techniques for Managers and Leaders

Know Yourself

Effective impression management starts with knowing oneself. Self-awareness is vital in identifying one’s strengths, weaknesses, and values. Being aware of one’s limitations can help one present oneself authentically while being mindful of how others perceive you. It enables managers to communicate more clearly and confidently with their team. Additionally, influential leaders who know themselves can inspire trust and respect from their employees. Therefore, managers must work on self-awareness to achieve successful impression management in the workplace.

Be Mindful

Being mindful is a crucial aspect of effective impression management for managers and leaders. They can better understand how others perceive them by being present and aware of their own emotions, behavior, and communication style. This awareness helps stay calm, composed, and respond appropriately in difficult situations, which can build trust and respect among the team. Regular mindfulness can lead to better self-awareness and emotional intelligence, which are essential for effective leadership. Being mindful also helps improve communication skills by actively listening to others and responding appropriately.

Emotion Management

Effective emotion management is crucial for managers and leaders in their roles. Emotions can run high in the workplace, and if not handled correctly, they can negatively affect team morale and productivity. 

An approach for effective emotion management is actively listening to team members and validating their emotions. It helps build trust within the team and improves communication overall. Additionally, modeling positive emotional behavior and encouraging team members to do the same can create a more positive atmosphere that benefits everyone in the long run. Ultimately, emotion management plays a vital role in impression management, contributing significantly to building a positive image among team members.

Etiquette Rules

Good manners and proper etiquette are crucial in impression management for managers and leaders. Following basic etiquette rules, such as using polite language, actively listening to team members, and displaying respectful behavior, can help create a positive image. Effective communication skills are also essential for building good impressions. Managers must be mindful of cultural differences and adapt their etiquette accordingly. Nonverbal communication, such as body language and facial expressions, is critical in impression management. Therefore, managers must lead by example by displaying good etiquette to encourage it among their team members. Regular feedback and self-reflection can help managers improve their impression management skills.


Having a healthy level of self-confidence is essential for managers and leaders regarding impression management. It helps project an image of competence, inspires trust among team members, and enhances the ability to make sound decisions. Building self-confidence takes time and effort. One way to develop confidence is through positive self-talk, which involves focusing on strengths rather than weaknesses. Setting achievable goals and taking care of physical health are also effective strategies for boosting self-confidence. However, balancing confidence with humility and willingness to learn from others is essential, as overconfidence can lead to adverse outcomes.

Positive Attitude

Maintaining a positive attitude is a critical component of impression management for managers and leaders. A leader’s demeanor can profoundly impact their team members, influencing motivation and productivity levels. Leaders who project positivity tend to inspire their teams and build stronger relationships with them, leading to better performance outcomes. By focusing on the positive aspects of a situation, managers foster an atmosphere of optimism in the workplace, which helps increase overall morale. Also, maintaining a positive attitude can help managers deal with difficult situations more effectively and navigate challenges more easily.

The Role of Impression Management in Workplaces

Building a positive organizational culture is crucial for effective impression management in the workplace. A healthy culture can help employees feel valued and motivated, leading to increased engagement and improved performance. Managers must ensure that their team members feel comfortable openly sharing their thoughts and opinions. Encouraging open communication can help managers better understand how they are perceived by employees, helping them make adjustments to their behavior as needed. Additionally, offering training programs and coaching sessions can equip managers with the necessary skills to manage impressions and build a positive work environment effectively.

Also check out the guide to making the best impression as a new manger: 5 Ways New Managers Can Create The Best Impression On Their Teams


In conclusion, impression management is an essential skill that every manager or leader must possess to ensure a positive work environment. Understanding and utilizing various impression management techniques can build better relationships with your employees, gain their trust and respect, and improve overall productivity. Remember to be mindful of your behavior, emotions, and attitudes, and strive always to maintain a positive image. It will benefit you and contribute positively to the workplace culture. 

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Impressions Management FAQs

What is meant by impression management?

Impression management is the process by which individuals attempt to control or influence the perceptions that others have of them. This involves strategic presentation of oneself in a favorable light, either through verbal or nonverbal cues, to create a particular impression or image.

What is impression management with an example?

An example of impression management could be an individual dressing professionally, using confident body language, and speaking confidently during a job interview to create a positive impression of their skills and abilities.

What is the role of impression management?

The role of impression management is to create a positive image of oneself in the eyes of others. This can be important for various reasons, such as building relationships, seeking employment opportunities, gaining social status, and achieving personal or professional goals.

What are the 3 steps of impression management?

The three steps of impression management are: (1) self-presentation, or the process of selecting and creating an image to present to others; (2) impression formation, or the process by which others form perceptions and judgments about an individual based on their self-presentation; and (3) impression management feedback, or the feedback an individual receives from others about the image they have presented.

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