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You never get a second chance…..

01/18/2011

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Chances are that if I meet you, I’ve decided within the first three minutes whether or not I’m going to like you.  Whether I thinkyou are someone who I want to talk to or not.

I probably should tell you that I take a load of time to try to get to know a person and that I believe everyone has some good inside. Maybe that is true, but frankly I don’t have the time to look for it.  In fact scrub that, I don’t believe that and if you do, you probably also believe that people ARE our greatest asset, that we ARE customer focussed and that packets of Maltesers ARE the same size that they were in the 70s. You’d also be a deluded numbnut that should have your  rose-tinted spectacles removed and shoved so far up your backside that the arms reach to the back of your tonsils.

First impressions are pretty much, if not always correct. I have never regretted not getting to know someone who I didn’t like, nor in most cases (other than you) have I regretted getting to know anyone that I did like. Because guess what…..I’m normally right.  Not only do I choose my friends like that, I also recruit like that. No competency based fuckwittery has ever proved more reliable than instinct and that is a FACT.

Does that make me an arrogant judgmental man? No, it makes me human.

20 Comments leave one →
  1. 01/18/2011 08:43

    I’d add that being human is going with your gut feel too – and I’ve never regretted going with it! Perhaps I’m human too.

  2. 01/18/2011 08:44

    How about your first impressions on social media? I could write you a letter about that

  3. 01/18/2011 09:11

    Apparently it takes 17 subsequent meetings to ‘correct’ or alter a perceived first impression. Personally, I also tend, rightly or wrongly, to make my mind up about people fairly quickly; however believe that I am a good judge of character.

    I agree with Theo – having got to know someone following a good first impression, I’ve never regretted investing that time in building that relationship.

    And in relation to Bill’s pertinent point, I agree that the way we behave on social media can be just as ‘real’ as the real world. Having been involved with the #ConnectingHR community since its inception, I met loads of folk that I had met on Twitter for the first time and found ALL of them to be similar to their Twitter personnas.

    The point? That it’s equally important to make a good first impression on social media.

  4. 01/18/2011 09:11

    I subscribed to your blog because I thought it might be interesting. First impressions are that it is not. Should I persevere? Maybe once we get beyond the childish rants and the “all about me” content I’ll discover the real message and value it? If what you say is true there’s little chance! #depressive

  5. david permalink
    01/18/2011 09:17

    Spot on – intuition is the most valuable and most suppressed business skill out there.

    You’ve made me think about our first impressions on social media. It feels as though we allow much longer to form an impression of someone on say Twitter or a blog than we do when meeting in person. We’re using less stimuli but perhaps we’re taking longer to find out what the other actually thinks….. thoughts?

  6. Peter Gold permalink
    01/18/2011 09:21

    Do you make such quick decisions about beautiful caravan sites? lol

  7. DeadbeatMum permalink
    01/18/2011 09:34

    Vacancy Clearing – Did you miss the signpost in the title of the blog and the sub heading ‘because immaturity suits me’?!

  8. Beth Mayes permalink
    01/18/2011 09:43

    Theo,
    We have not met yet, so I’m feeling brave!

    As ever my comment/question is around how we put this (and I do, in principal, agree with you) into practise. Practically it is not defensible.

    Looking forward to meeting, I think!
    Beth

  9. garethmjones permalink
    01/18/2011 10:31

    Tut tut! Trust your gut, i do every time. But only because im intuitive by nature. Telling someone who isn’t intuitive by nature to trust their gut is like talking to them in a foreign language so it doesn’t work for all. Perhaps people who are not intuitive should not be allowed to recruit? Perhaps all recruiters should be rigorously assessed and only those that have inbuilt intuition and can use their guy instincts should be licensed to recruit?? But then how do we select those who select the recruiters – by gut feel?? confused?? You will be….

    By the way. I agree, we are most DEF NOT customer focussed and packets of Maltersers ARE smaller now.

    However, People ARE, VERY MUCH so our most important asset. Its just the monkeys who pretend to be leaders in our organisations that don’t realise it.

    • david permalink
      01/18/2011 10:40

      Is it possible to not be intuitive? Imagine someone who wasn’t intuitive trying to walk!

      I get your point though. Perhaps all they need is the right environment and encouragement to use their intuition? The leaders that is….

  10. 01/18/2011 10:41

    but but…but isn’t that an unfair selection process that all the HRD methods and procedures are meant to correct?!?
    Yes.
    When I have had an unwell feeling about a candidate, experience has shown I should have listened to my intuition instead of trying to be fair to the candidate.

    @TheHRD Do you break off the interview after 5 minutes or do you go through the motions until the allotted time is up?

    • DeadbeatMum permalink
      01/18/2011 14:34

      You should be fair to the candidate by exploring and identifying the reasons for your ‘unwell feeling’ – and checking that they are legitimate and relevant to the post being hired for – not by automatically overriding them just because us HR peeps have it drummed into us that gut instinct is wrong.

  11. 01/18/2011 14:18

    Gareth,

    doesn’t your Linked In profile list you as leader? just asking …

  12. 01/18/2011 14:20

    Gut every time – but even if that isn’t the case, you can never take back a first impression and it takes an age to correct it- if you ever get the chance.

  13. 01/18/2011 15:25

    When I first met you I thought instantly “is he a knob, or what?”

    Unfortunately, anyone who has any acquaintance with implicit assumption realises that all sorts of societal, aesthetic and other factors colour our judgements.

    If you’re in any doubt of this, take an online implicit assumptions test at https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/demo/takeatest.html

    You may be shocked at your own prejudices.

  14. 01/18/2011 15:51

    What about those that don’t warm up to others quickly? That may appear shy at first but are in reality, just reserved around newbies.

  15. Geekette permalink
    01/18/2011 17:19

    But here’s the thing:
    -Nobody admits to being a bad judge of people, even occasionally.
    -There is usually not another opportunity to prove/disprove your initial negative impressions, therefore, you remain convinced that you were right. E.g. On deciding to dislike X whom you met at some gathering, you will never get/remain in touch with him/her, thus never find out if your gut feel was right on/not.

    So, believing your instincts are always right in this arena is a flawed assumption.

  16. 01/18/2011 19:09

    holy crap. you are an asshole.

    hahahahahhaha. just kidding. i’m glad i passed the test, though.

  17. onatrainagain permalink
    01/18/2011 21:31

    Does skype class as meeting you? If so, why the hell are you still talking to me 😉

  18. 01/19/2011 11:32

    @Sarah Matthews – Beuatifully imperfect humans…..

    @BillBoorman – But….I still don’t like you! 🙂 Thanks for making me chuckle with that comment.

    @Callum Saunders – Yikes….I have to make a GOOD impression?

    @vacancyclearing – Thanks for subscribing and thanks for taking the time to comment. Hopefully I will be able to meet your standards and write content that you deem worthy of subscription to.

    @david – Or is that something about the subconscious way we read body language, voice etc when we meet in person?

    @Peter Gold – That place is the first to go come the revolution!

    @DeadbeatMum – 🙂

    @Beth Mayes – Beth, thanks for commenting and I look forward to meeting you too (I’m nicer in real life honest!) I guess this is all about being true to our own beliefs?

    @garethmjones – I’m glad someone picked up on the crucial point about Maltesers….I mean WTF??

    @Ralph Bassfield – Yes, if I think an interview is going nowhere I close it down straight away. I know it is tough, but I think it is more honest.

    @Oli – Thanks for commenting……I’m with you on the gut….although clearly not YOUR gut…that would be inappropriate….

    @Henry – And you weren’t wrong! Yes we have prejudices, but that is what makes us human. That is life. Thanks for the link btw.

    @adowling – I’m one of those people. Honest.

    @Geekette – Or a beautiful truth? But yes….that is my point…you hit the nail on the head.

    @laurie ruettimann – You didn’t….jury is still out! 🙂

    @onatrainagain – I consider it my community service 🙂 I’m being punished for saying bad words….

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