We like to think about ourselves as idealists. We do not care what other people think about us. But this is a game, and we will explain why you should care. The post is based on a remarkable book written by Chad Fowler, The Passionate Programmer.
Perception is how people see you. If you are a software tester, you want your manager to see you as an experienced software tester. The trick is that this perception is not objective but subjective measurement. If you are an excellent software tester that prevents critical software bugs daily, but you keep this information secretly locked down in the basement of the local planning department of Alpha Centauri, nobody will know that fact.
You want your spouse to perceive you as a good parent, but you need to show and practice that good parenting.
You should care what other people think about you, but you need to create that subjective perception by communicating to them proofs about facts that they care about. For example, your primary manager’s interest is not that you are a good parent.
Make a list with people that you care what they think about you, ways of their preferred communication, and what properties you should communicate to that person.