He arrived late for the workshop. We were into our first exercise. As the instructor, I was asking each person for their answer to the initial question about their expectations. When it was his turn, he replied, “I missed the beginning. I don’t know what you want.”
My private thoughts?
That’s his problem. Not mine. I don’t know if that was a circumstantial problem or a systemic problem. Is he always late?
I gave him the benefit of the doubt and said, I’d come back to him. Gave him time to think and continued with the rest of the room. Then, I returned to him and repeated the question. His answer was an amalgam of the answers he heard. There was an absence of original thought.
I wondered. Was he a freeloader? Did he have an excuse for everything? Was he the Wally in Dilbert?
The first impression is cemented quickly. It’s often right. Even if it’s wrong we will find ways to reinforce what we already decided. I believe he didn’t contribute value to the workshop. I could be wrong – but I was prejudiced by the first impression.
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