‘The new boss who is coming from headquarters is horrible in nature, I have heard from my friends there.’ An employee relayed insider information about the new chief who was to take over the operation at a branch. Others started inquiring more, and whatever came their way, from social media, or other colleagues, added to the personality of the person they had never seen or met. Thus, a predisposed evaluation was created about the person. But it happened that after the manager had taken over, he got along very well with almost everyone, except for those who relented their work. ‘Quite a hard taskmaster I would say, but not bad at heart.’ Declared the same employee who had lit the fire first. ‘Yes, rather the deputy, about whom you had given good reviews is horrible. He smiles, shows to be a person who can be approached, but never helpful.’ Another employee added. Again, it turned out to be a wrong judgement about the person.
Reputation travels faster than a person. Before we meet anyone, it is possible that we have heard something about him/her. This reputation, good or bad, influences our thoughts and outlook and we tend to create an opinion even before meeting the person once. This might work as a prejudice in favour of or against the individual and may affect our relationship. As a book is always more than its blurb or a review given on its cover page, so is the individual. One cannot judge from hearsay what an individual would turn out to be.
This is a common human fallacy to create a persona of someone based on a few details they have collected from here and there. It doesn’t work like that in reality, because anyone is more than what one can perceive, or describe. Similarly, one cannot be painted in black and white. One behaves differently with different people, the chemistry of personal and professional relationships may also vary accordingly. Why to prejudge someone and give any advantage or disadvantage before direct interaction and experience. Prejudice is a fallacy of our perception, and it is an enemy of strong and good relationships. It creates a barrier in seeing through an individual in a fair manner.