It seems to be difficult for people to make a comprehensive assessment of experiences. Instead of looking at the totality of the encounters, people make judgments and base opinions disproportionately on the most recent events.
> If a supervisor is doing an appraisal and a recent act was negative, it is likely to color the entire evaluation rather than being taken in balance for the performance throughout the year.
> If a long time employee leaves, the legacy that remains is based upon their final period rather than the full term of their employment.
> As someone assesses qualitative measures, they tend to look at only the most recent and make judgments against that — the “what-have-you-done-for-me-lately” mentality — rather than putting the current term in perspective with the whole.
The behavior and actions at the end stay in our consciousness far longer than the assessment of the full experience.
If you believe this to be true, think about what you can do to compensate for it. Can you record things in such a way to allow you to have a more comprehensive picture? Do you intentionally force yourself to pull back and have a larger view before drawing conclusions? Can you consciously reflect on the beginning of the experience and learn from that?
Most Hall of Fame inductions look at players’ records over their entire career. It’s a good model for others to follow.