Perceptions of Perceptions

Kingston, ON, about 1910, originally uploaded by Musée McCord Museum.

Sylvain Grand’maison showed me this picture of Kingston. The year is 1910, the first Podcasters Across Borders (PAB) conference is still 96 years away. Yet, if you look closely, you can see future podcasters stumbling out of what will become the Merchant Pub.

If you look at Kingston now, it’s a thriving community with an enthusiastic group of social media participants. There are great restaurants, fun pubs and it’s become a place we all enjoy visiting every year. Is this all because of PAB? Sure, why not?

PAB is three weeks away, and I’m well into my pre-event jitters. As organizers, we deal with many real issues (logistics, facilities, activities,etc..)  There’s a certain expectation people attending have of this event, but I also find myself struggling as I measure what we do against my perception of their perception.

I think if you look to history, “our perception of their perception” can be isolated as the root cause of many great conflicts and mis-understandings. In order to combat this and avoid repeating history, I went and took a look at the post-PAB feedback from all our previous events. It was interesting to see how often “my perception of their perception” was almost completely wrong.

In work, life, relationships, there are enough real issues to content with without dealing with the perceived issues. So try to keep your target in mind. If you find you’re dealing with “perception of perception”, maybe take 5 minutes, and find out what they’re really thinking…

you could save a lot of time and worry if you do….

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3 Comments

  1. Scarborough Dude says:

    You and Mark got it right the first time and set the vibe for a great time. People come expecting that, but also knowing it’s the collective consciousness that keeps it great. No one thinks the responsibility for a good time rests with others – it’s up to each individual to give and take and make the most of this very special gathering. That said, we all owe you guys Big Time for starting off the magic. We know even before we arrive that an absofknlutely great weekend is ours just for showing up! Thank you!

  2. The success of Podcasters Across Borders is totally due to the fact that it’s held in Kingston. It’s a small place, everything is nearby, the hotel is by the lake… everything is perfect.

    But most importantly, the level of engagement people have when they’re there is also related to the place. Except for Tommy Vallier, nobody is in it’s hometown. It forces everybody to get along. And having the event held in the hotel where people stay brings a closeness and an awesome vibe. Oh, and the two organisers always set the tone for a friendly event.

    I tell you, if it was held in any other bigger city like Toronto, Montréal and Ottawa, it would not be as cool as it is.

    But that’s only my take on that. You can have your own perception of the thing if you want 😉

  3. Ferg Devins says:

    Bob…I spent four great years in Kingston…no not behind bars but frequenting many bars in the early eighties when I was at Queen’s. I just know that the city will play host and be a tremendous social backdrop for your impressive agenda…cheers !

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