Dr. Lisa Gonzales
Moving Beyond First Impressions
"First impressions are everything."
"First impressions never die."
Yada, yada, yada. We've all heard the phrases and their nuances. We probably believe them. But should we?
While first experiences may leave an impression, maybe we need to go beyond our initial perceptions. Think about it. When we make a judgment based on a first impression or experience, which really is a very limited pass at that person, we are applying impressions without having a good, objective observing eye.
Observing eyes are better able to look at an event without the initial distractions, misunderstandings and preconceived notions. Let's look at it from the behavior of a deer - caught in headlights and action is imminent - run....often directly into the path of an oncoming vehicle. But by developing our thinking, observing eye we can use the initial information but take the time to continue to gather more data.
And this takes practice. And strength. It's a change in reflexes that needs to be developed, honed, practiced. Consider that thick slab of steak, perfectly seasoned from the chef and delivered to the placemat in front of you. Or the vintage wine, specially selected to enhance that steak and please your palette. If you step back and look at both, seeing them as they really are, in front of you are a dead animal and fermented grapes.
Once we use a steady eye and keep our emotions in check, we can see situations and people for what they really are. Removing the subjectivity. Just a little more pondering and information can help us better see problems for what they are, obstacles as opportunities, employees as human and not perfect automatons.
What if you were to step back from a scenario or that first impression and gather evidence from the opposite perspective? Can you see the scenario differently and arrive at a stronger conclusion? solution? resolution?
Here's the upside....as we strengthen our skills in seeing things as they really are, and not as we might first perceive them to be, the more effective our perception can help rather than hinder.
Just a thought. A thought that I took the time to conclude.
(picture courtesy of: http://dailytrojan.com/2010/10/07/first-impressions-don%E2%80%99t-tell-whole-story/