There is a song by the classic C&W singer and song-writer Willie Nelson with the title, “One in a row.” Interesting use of a contradiction. Yet, we often base our decisions, impressions, and make assumptions based on a single data point. Here are a few examples:
- Did you know that 70% of interviewers make up their minds on a candidate within the first 15 minutes of the interview (according to Entrepreneur Magazine)? And of those, 5% made up their mind in the first minute! Yes, it is clear that that first impression, whether or not it is fair or accurate, is hugely important.
- We have all probably been in a situation in which trial-after-trial failed, but, when you finally obtained a successful or passing result, someone immediately declared, ‘It works!’” We tend to agree with or accept that result that meets our desired outcome regardless of whether the data really support our conclusion. That is why objectivity is so important in making important decisions. One way I apply this is to ask someone else, not necessarily close to the problem, “Here is what I am thinking on this… Am I missing something?” Getting the opinion of someone else or additional objective data can help ensure you are on the right track.
- Have you heard of the “Dufus Syndrome”? This is a conclusion about an individual you reach based on a single event or action. Though that individual may perform like a rock star 1000 times since that event, he/she is still know as that person! Somehow, we need to be able to refresh our viewpoints and use recent, objective data when viewing the contributions of individuals. The same can be true for good impressions. I have seen many times that once you conclude an individual is an “exceeding expectations” type of person, nothing in the future will change that. They could sleep away the rest of their career and still be known as a superstar. We must be objective!
- Can we trust someone that is faithful one time in a row? You’ve heard the saying, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” Trust cannot be easily regained once lost. However, over time, one step at a time, it can be restored. We must be willing to forgive that person, though, that has proven they can be trusted.
One in a row… What can we learn from Willie today that will help us tomorrow? Have a brilliant day!