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Distorted reality or listening to the voice inside your head?

I admit I was biased. It actually happened more than once. I stuck to a perception or to an earlier impression to judge someone’s message or their action.

This isn’t a new phenomenon and I certainly am not unique but it is important to remind ourselves that the voice inside our head sometime leads us to incorrect assumptions about other people. Want an example?

You don’t know Christina or Patrick but you heard that Christina is slightly hysterical and the Patrick is a slow learner. Then one day you attend a meeting where both Christina and Patrick have been invited. At some point, someone in the group makes a simple joke and Christina bursts laughing while others only politely smile. Later in the meeting, after a lenghty explanation by a colleague, Patrick asks a very simple question about something everyone else already understood. You leave the meeting thinking Christina is hysterical and Patrick seems dumb.

Are these individuals as you perceive them to be or are you victim of selective perception. Did the events confirm your perception or did your brain play a trick on you looking for evidence of their peculiarities?

As managers, we are often required to make judgements in order to take quick decisions so this situation is a dangerous one. I don’t believe we can eliminate this bias but awareness is important in order to properly assess our employees, our colleagues, and all people we work with.

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