Do appearances matter?

How quick is your organization to judge someone based on their appearance? Most of the people reading this will quickly say “we don’t do that”. However, really give this some thought.

Two people drive onto a car dealers lot. One is wearing cut off jean shorts and a t shirt and an older model vehicle. The other is wearing designer clothes and is driving a newer model Mercedes. Who gets approached by the salesperson first? In a large majority of the cases, the person wearing the designer clothes and driving the Mercedes will be approached first. However, in writing this, I have two maintenances in mind as these examples. The person wearing the cut off jeans and t shirt could not only buy any car on the lot, he could buy most dealerships with cash. The person wearing the designer clothes struggles to make the house payment and the lease payment on the car he can’t afford.

In a business forum I read occasionally there was a posting about one way to judge a persons success was to find their home address (usually a very easy thing to do online) and look at their house using Google Maps. In this persons opinion, looking at where a person lives would be a good way to judge their success. Using this logic, he could look up a person I know in Savannah GA and see he lives in a million dollar home but is most likely going to be losing it real soon to the bank. However, that fact wouldn’t be seen on Google Maps. Or, he could look up another person I know who lives in a small inexpensive home that is fully paid for as are that persons eight other houses. This also wouldn’t be evident simply by looking at the house

Around 15 years ago, I went to a car auction in a small town in Georgia. It was a rural community and many of these cars were only a year or two old. Many of the people at the auction seemed to be farmers or mechanics. None of them were the type that the typical car dealer would run to if they stepped on the lot. The bidding started and I noticed the winners of the various bids would go to the cashier and many of them would pull out a big wad of bills. Cars were being bought for $10k-20K a piece and people were paying cash for them! I will admit that I never would have imagined these people were carrying that type of money on them and judging solely from appearances, I wouldn’t have imagined most of them would have had access to that type of money ever.

Soccer coaches here in the US seem to like big players. They recruit big, strong, fast kids. Many college coaches would be hesitant to recruit a scrawny 5 foot 7 inch 148 pound male soccer player. They would judge him as too short, too weak and not able to handle the grind of a full season. However, this would mean they would miss out on Lionel Messi (probably the best male soccer player in the world right now)

When a person walks into your office, judge them for what they can do, now what they appear to be able to do

Have a great day!


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