Stop putting people in boxes!

Victoria Lewis




We talk a lot in our sessions about “the pictures in our heads” – our human and automatic unconscious thoughts. Some of the time these pictures just stay in our heads but other times we do something with them – we process them in our actions, our behaviour, and our treatment of others. These thoughts impact our critical decision making (recruitment, selection, performance management to name but a few) but can create unintended outcomes. Once we have a clear picture of someone, we tend to look for evidence to support that view and, indeed, we attribute less value to evidence which gives the contrary view. So we might think someone who has studied at a particular establishment is better suited for a specific job than someone else and we tend to attach more value to evidence which supports our original view. It’s just the way our brains work!

The starting point I always say is to “notice” what you do – don’t give yourself a hard time, just notice the pictures in your head. In a busy world it is not always easy to notice the way you are thinking – you need help and visual prompts can help. A TV station in Denmark has just illustrated this beautifully. Have a look – this might become one of my visual prompts from now on!

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