Are First Perceptions always Right?

“We judge ourselves by our intentions and others by their actions.” – Stephen Covey

I was attacked by a wasp the other day. My lovely walk in the country was suddenly interrupted by a severe burning pain in my arm – the little beggar having sunk his stinger into me with no provocation whatsoever.

On my way home, accompanied by what felt like a hundred pixies stabbing my arm with tiny sharp daggers, I pondered on the purpose of a wasp. Wondering if their role in life was simply to cause pain, annoyance and allergic reactions. Why do they exist?

So next day, faced with some serious work to do… I googled, ‘What purpose do wasps serve?’ and was amazed to discover that they actually do serve some purpose as pollinators, though not as efficient as their bee cousins.

To be honest, it kind of ruined the blog I was going to write about the wasps in your business that serve no purpose:

  • The extra hoops that you make a customer jump through
  • The products that have never sold that you won’t let go of
  • The team member who has struggled since day one.

But now I know that the pesky wasp actually does some good, it got me thinking that perhaps we shouldn’t rush to judgement, or take things, particularly people, at face value.

Maybe that person serving at the till had the headache from hell and wasn’t up to smiling.

Maybe that colleague who didn’t return your good morning was too preoccupied with her bulging to do list that she didn’t even hear you. So often we can take things personally when more often than not, people’s behaviour is nothing at all to do with us.

Maybe that person you think has struggled since day one, just hasn’t been trained properly, or maybe they would blossom in a different role, or maybe they’ve been doing something quietly, behind the scenes, adding value to your business and just not making a song and dance about it.

Perhaps this person will never be a bee but they make a very effective wasp!

Have you ever employed or worked with anyone like this; someone who you doubted initially who turned out to be a revelation for all the right reasons? (Think of Richard Branson at school and where he is now).

Do one thing: Think about your people and for each of them write down what you believe their main strength to be, then ask them what they think. Finally ask yourself, “Am I playing to and challenging their strengths?” (Okay, that’s three things!)

Good luck and thanks for reading 🙂

P.S. Did you see both the old and young woman in the picture?

​Photo Credit: NY Public Library


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Marianne Page

Marianne is the author of three books, and is currently working on her fourth, whilst regularly writing her blog, we hope you enjoy it :-)


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