Have you ever been told “that person can do no wrong in your eyes” or “give the guy another chance, he’s a really nice person”? This past week I found out that those preconceived notions have a name: Hypothesis Bias or Confirmation Bias. In the case of someone you may not like, you’ll look for comments, actions and intonations to help support your reason for not liking that said person. On the other hand, for a person that you’re fond of, you’ll easily gloss over flaws and mistakes simply because that person is held in high esteem.
The trouble comes when there are people with whom you deal with at the office (and at home, but that’s for a different blog) that may have made a mistake or gotten cross ways with you in the past. You’re now carrying your Hypothesis Bias with you and potentially pre-punishing that employee or coworker for past grievances. Today, determine who that person is that is receiving the effects of your negative Hypothesis Bias, grab the mental sheet of paper where you’re keeping a list of all the things you don’t like and why you’re entitled to those feelings, fold it up as a paper airplane and toss it out. Now, whip out a bright white sheet of blank paper and start over with that person.
Your Hypothesis Bias may have been preventing you from a great associate and *gasp* potentially a friend whom you had previously dismissed.