There is a saying - meet on clothes. She still works in our society, and we still every time sincerely wonder how we could be so mistaken in the selection of personnel. As a matter of fact, it is not difficult to make a mistake - after all, you yourself, no matter how broken you are, do not go for an interview in torn jeans and a wrinkled shirt. Maybe Steve Jobs would have been easier at the beginning of his career if he had not walked around the office barefoot.
When it comes time to hire a new employee, evaluate an existing team member, or start a new collaboration, everyone considers themselves to be objective and sensible. We are sure that we will be able to appreciate people. But in fact, we easily fall victim to a well-known and long-studied phenomenon called the “halo effect”. This is not from the field of palmistry, do not be alarmed. This is from the field of ordinary psychology.
In 1920, psychologist Edward Thorndike published a study according to which completely different categories of people (workers, soldiers, teachers, and pilots) were in most cases mistakenly rated "by clothes." For example, reliable workers were rated as very smart, and untidy soldiers - as physically weak. Active teachers were considered very executive, and executive - very efficient. In fact, all this did not correspond to reality a single gram. Just when a huge red label is attached to a person, it is very difficult to make out what is really hidden under it.
Take the pilots. For any of us, the commander of the aircraft is the king and god, and for girls it is also the best option for marriage. And even if we are not familiar with the pilots personally, we are one hundred percent sure that they cannot be bad people. Not by chance in childhood, everyone dreamed of becoming an astronaut.
Thorndike, aware of the seriousness of the state of affairs, was skeptical, especially regarding the rating of pilots who were very highly rated in almost every category and were recommended to take leadership positions, even despite their youth and lack of experience. And then he realized that from the air aces default expect great accomplishments and derived the formula of the so-called "halo".
These are some kind of pink glasses that instantly appear on your nose as soon as you recognize one single trait of a complete stranger. As a result, people who have managed to make a positive first impression receive positions that they simply cannot cope with due to lack of experience.
When you try to give a general assessment of all the qualities of a person, you yourself create a halo if you start with the most outstanding feature of the candidate. It will affect your perception of other, less characteristic features of a person. Take Vasya. The first thing you will learn about Vasya is that he has three higher educations, including Harvard and Moscow State University. It seems to me that you will not read anything further in his resume. Vasya is guaranteed a place in your company.
Thorndike in his study showed people different pictures, pinned to an essay, and said that this is a photo of the author (which was not true). The same essay was evaluated differently. You probably already guessed exactly how? Attractive "author" received high marks, and unattractive - low. The halo effect is very fond of using realtors, leading clients to inspect the apartment and casually breaking a fresh hot bun there - associations with a warm and fragrant house are locked in the clients head when they compare all the options later.
Perhaps that is why high people get paid more than low ones. One study in 2004 proved that for every extra centimeter of growth a person can earn an extra $ 789 a year, because he stands out among the crowd. That is why presidential candidates go to the people and ride the subway - from this they seem to be "their own guys." The halo of correctness and accessibility makes a person in the eyes of voters reliable enough to trust him access to the red button.
However, the effect of this halo is not always positive. For example, when two groups of students listened to two different lectures by a professor who spoke with a European accent (something like Jean-Claude Van Damme), the assessments of this feature of his (accent) were opposite for different groups. The fact is that at one lecture the professor behaved calmly and naturally, and at the other he pretended to be picky and demanding. Listeners of the first lecture liked his accent, and the second did not. If you argue objectively, then the emphasis in general can not be either good or bad - such estimates appear under the influence of the halo.
If you catch yourself thinking that your entire team evaluates a person, product or company equally positively or negatively for each item, then you are most likely under the influence of the halo effect. The most important thing to know in such a situation is that you cannot avoid this influence, but you can learn to recognize the moment when rose-colored glasses fall on your nose. Yes, you are not good at people. But everyone else is no better than you.
How to do it?
- Notice moments when only one prominent trait makes a person suitable for a particular position, although not connected with it in any way. Individual characteristics (attractiveness, growth, recent achievements, impressive track record, solid education) will greatly influence your opinion, especially at first. What is more important to you - that your potential secretary was "Miss Bobruisk" or that she is fluent in paperwork? Set priorities, isolate what is unimportant for you, and ask someone to delete this information about the candidate before you read it.
- From time to time destroy the old halos. No magic wand is needed here; you yourself can learn how to turn all carriages into pumpkins. A powerful first impression, positive or negative, creates a halo that can act on you for many years. Try to rely on logic. Forget about love at first sight and periodically overestimate everything and everyone as the first time.
Adaptation of the David Mac Rainey Material You Are Bad At Assessing People (But So Is Everybody Else)