I don’t know if it’s because we’re all moving too fast or whether we have truly become more closed-minded, but I am struck by how often people make assumptions about the whole based upon one data point.

  • Someone may comment on your messaging based on one ad, without taking the overall strategy into account.
  • You may be judged on one act of behavior, even if it occurred years ago, without being given the benefit of your whole life’s contributions.
  • The organization could be publicly taken to task because of the actions of one employee, even though there are hundreds of others who would have responded differently.
  • People may judge you based on one characteristic of your demographics or character without considering your overall person and personality.
  • Many are choosing a political candidate based on a single issue rather than judging them on their past performance and overall platform for the future.

Michael Jordan drove himself to play at a top level every night because he knew there were people in the stands who would only see him this once and he wanted it to be memorable for them. Even with that mindset going in MJ missed shots and occasionally had an off night, but people deservedly consider his career as a whole.

Before you jump to judgment based upon one story or incident, train your brain to see that as one piece of a larger puzzle. Yes, the information you know is negative but there may be light that surrounds it and outshines the dark.

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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