Are you one of those people that regularly salt your food before you taste it? No matter where the food comes from? If so, you prejudge the food and its level of saltiness based on habit or expectations, not fact or confirmation.
Despite the old adage “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover,” we all still instictively prejudge, whether we are aware of it or not.
What do you prejudge? People? Ideas? Businesses? Projects?
Experience can be our friend, from helping us pick good food to saving our lives. But there is a big difference between relying on experience and just being habitual and mindless.
Right or wrong, how you communicate with others is influenced by how you perceive them. But it can be much more challenging to communicate well when you’ve made your perception (and decisions) in advance of proper information.
For instance, someone that you don’t know that looks like your old, grumpy boss is not your old grumpy boss. But will you start the relationship as if they are?
Or perhaps you find that someone reminds you of a long-term trusted friend. Do they get extra trust from you that they may not have earned yet?
As you work to communicate well with other people, be self-aware of the influence of mindless early judgements and just be sure you are considering others on their own merit, not because they remind you of someone else.
Experience is valuable, just be sure it is balanced with new information.