Sunday, November 14, 2010

Eye Roller / Pre-Judger

Are you an "Eye Roller / Pre-Judger"?

You know the type of person I am talking about: as soon as they hear about someone, something, some place, etc.... they roll their eyes and have an instant opinion. They have no first hand experience, but they are instant to proclaim it as "lame".

We all do this to some degree, but many do it to obscene levels. Having this trait in over-drive limits opportunities.

I see this sometimes when I speak at large conferences. People hear the keynote speaker will be talking about "The Power of Business Relationships and Networking", and they assume they know exactly what they will be getting from the presentation.

How do I know they roll their eyes and pre-judge me before they hear the talk? Because they come up to me after the speech and tell me this. A woman last month and said "Wow. That was a great presentation. When I saw the schedule I thought this talk about networking would just be 'fluffy', but you surprised me. I am glad I came because I almost skipped this keynote to go catch up on emails".

That sounds like a weird compliment, but I hear it often.... and I understand what she is saying; "I am an eye roller / pre-judger and I had my own false opinion of you and your speech long before I arrived".

It is not just speech titles and keynote speakers that get the eye rolls. It happens everywhere to everyone. I told a friend that McDonald's new smoothies are really good. Her eyes almost disappeared in her head. But a month later she called to tell me I was right, as she tried one and found it tasty and healthy. She admitted that she prejudged McDonald's without investigation. Now she drinks them often.

People, movies, restaurants, vacation destinations, companies, books, stores, activities, bands, bars, cars, etc..... Everything gets pre-judged based on people's own perceptions without the need for facts!

Granted, we cannot try everything, but the smartest and most successful people I know are always seeking out new experiences... not shutting them off instantly.

When we pre-judge we limit our opportunities. We miss out on cool things, places and people who could have a positive impact on our life.

I ask audiences if they know people are quick to "eye roll and pre-judge", .... and everyone seems to know these people. They always have negative opinions of that person in their universe who does this, and then I challenge them to look at themselves. Many admit they are guilty too.

I catch myself ... and when I do, I try to get past it. And it never fails, the thing I thought would be "lame" turns out to be fun, educational, or otherwise amazing.

How about you?

Have A Great Day



SimpleCityLife said...

Great article, Thom. I've been known to pre-judge. Thanks for the wonderful reminder to not judge the book by it's cover!

Stefani said...

Great post. I immediately thought, "My husband! My mom!"

I will look at myself now, as I know others provide mirrors of the things we dislike in ourselves. Thanks for the reminder.