Did you ever come home from a social event and find yourself talking about the people or a person more than the event? Those people didn’t know that they were on stage. You may have noticed their dress, their animation, their opinions, their looks or their shoes.

You gained an impression of them simply based on your observation. Conversely, you were also on stage. There was some one who noticed you. They formed an impression of you and you didn’t even see them.

Most people would agree that we form opinions about people based on our personal observations or the opinions of others. We simply accept the premise and value our opinion of people as valid and factual. It is based on the information that is available at the moment.

But is it a true and accurate assessment of that individual? Would you accept an opinion of you based on the same type of information? Unfortunately, people form opinions of us every day. We are always on stage. People notice us whether we see them or not.

We can influence people’s impression of us. It is our agenda or our performance on our stage. We’ve formed opinions of people based on their nose, their walk, their clothes, their teeth or their opinion. Keep in mind that people have an opinion of us based on the same criteria.

It’s important, then, that when we are on stage, we take charge of our performance. There are four take-charge elements for our performance:

  1. Responsibility
  2. Credibility
  3. Preparation
  4. Performance

If we want people to have the right impression, if we want them to get the right message, then, we must present a well-prepared, credible performance. We must take responsibility for our performance and execute it well.

The Actor and the Audience:

In every performance there is the actor and the audience.

Actors: Audience:
  1. parents
  2. teachers
  3. minister
  4. policemen
  5. doctor
  6. salesman
  7. manager
  8. employer
  9. politician
  10. me
  • children
  • students
  • congregation
  • community
  • patient
  • client
  • staff
  • employee
  • constituency
  • you

The actors are not limited nor are the members of the audience. Everyone has an acting role during his or her day-to-day activity. And everyone engages in audience participation.

Children observe their parents and learn from the performance. Parents observe their children and modify their performance to the needs of the children. Parenting is not that simple but parents have a tremendous responsibility for the actions that they present to their children.

The salesman wins the sale if he is able to give a credible performance. But the customer must also impress the salesman that he will honor his obligations in the transaction. Both are performers with a respective message.

As a surgeon (the actor), my message must be that I am willing to help you (the audience). The patient’s (actor) message must reflect how they want the surgeon (audience) to help them. If the patient’s message is that they are looking for drugs to support their addiction, then they won’t get what they are looking for. However, if they give a tremendous performance, and deceive the audience, they may get what they want.

Dr. Liposky with Troop

One of the toughest performances that I was asked to give was in the jungles of Honduras. I was at the Ronald Reagan Medic School … an open building with long tables and leaking roof. These young Freedom Fighters were farmers being trained as medics. This was graduation and soon they wound be in battle with their little medic pouches on their hip.

I was there to show them how to provide primary care for facial gun shot wounds. They couldn’t do much but anything could help. They marched out to an open area. I knew that most of them would not survive the next 6 months. But my performance had to be strong, supportive and respectful of the sacrifice that they were about to make.

Did I expect to be on that stage? Actually, I had been on stage the moment they brought me into the jungle, the moment they brought me in to the camp, the moment the students saw me. You just never know how you will affect the lives of other people. It’s just can a moment in time. We are always on stage!

Chapter 3 in my book “it’s not what I know…it’s how I learned it” expands on always on stage in business.

Next: Always on Stage: Responsibility

Make it a great day

Dr L