Are you guilty of underestimating people on occasion? I know I am, and, I often discover, to my own detriment.
It’s easy to do, though, isn’t it? Judging a book by its cover, making a snap decision about someone else’s abilities without any reasonable evidence, having your mind closed to unexpected possibilities.
Sometimes in life, people rise to your expectations of them. Similarly, if you have low expectations, people tend to meet them as well. How can you find out for sure if you are underestimating the abilities of another person?
Perhaps pursue that evidence I just mentioned…Ask a question, do some research, check with other people who have experience with that individual. Don’t just assume they don’t have the skills, knowledge, training, education, experience or talent you think they don’t!
Our brains are constantly receiving stimuli and information needing to be processed to reach conclusions. We necessarily take short cuts to help us deal with this persistent bombardment of our senses and relieve us of this cognitive dissonance in our lives. One way we do that is to form snap judgements about others: friend or foe, trust or distrust, like or don’t like, etc. Those quick observations might or might not be proven with time and more information.
Rather than always relying on those immediate impressions, why not take some time and dig a little deeper, seeing if you can disprove your initial reaction. Check out Dave Grohl from the Foo Fighters in this video. He calls up a young man on stage at one of his concerts and makes certain assumptions about him, which turn out to be false, as you can plainly read by the looks on Dave’s face. If this isn’t enough evidence to prove you shouldn’t underestimate people, I don’t know what is!