We are exposed to various stimuli throughout the day. What we sense, hear, see and smell we take in and interpret it in our own way. Two people can take in the same stimuli and interpret it in totally different ways. Because of how we think, our past experiences, biases, what we’ve learned and what we’ve been told defines how we organize the stimuli and make sense of it.
How we interpret our environment is significant because it influences our resulting behavior. We interpret, we react and respond according to our thinking. We also make decisions according to what we think. Understanding how we interpret our environment exposes us to the fact that there is a big opportunity for error in our judgment. Just because we think something doesn’t mean its true. It’s true to us but we may be 100% wrong.
How we interpret our environment is one way we think inaccurately and another way is due to the Halo Effect.
The Halo Effect is real and something we engage in all the time. For example- When we meet someone and our first impression is positive we can transition this positive impression to some of their other attributes. If we like them we assume they have the skills we need at our organization and hire them. In hindsight, they may not, in fact, be a good fit.
How you think is powerful and it directly influences your decision making, behavior, results and happiness. Just be aware that your interpretation of the world or how you see things and people may be incorrect. The best way to manage this is to keep an open mind, be aware and be willing to adapt and change your thinking.
Image is Everything!