Our brains are capable of processing the world around us incredibly fast – faster than we can consciously realize. However, sometimes this speed is to our detriment, especially when it comes to making snap judgments.
During a study at Dartmouth College and NYU, researchers showed participants images of faces for 30 milliseconds – an impossibly short time to truly see a face. However, the subjects were hooked up to a brain scanner and found that the amygdala had been activated and had already created snap judgments about the faces.
Generally, our brains make judgments of other people within a 10th of a second. Within this tiny time frame, we have already judged people in terms of likeability, trustworthiness, attractiveness and competence. These unfounded first impressions colour our entire perspective of the new person, and they are difficult to shake.
When we stick to our first impressions, or any judgment based on race, gender, religion, class or level of education, we cut ourselves off from new experiences, new people and new perspectives. Our world becomes smaller, and our learning is restricted. It is important for a rebel entrepreneur to be open to new experiences and to not constrict possible opportunities with flash judgements.
Rebel entrepreneurs resist, or, at least, are aware of making judgments of people too quickly. There is a distinct difference between trusting your gut about an opportunity or a decision, and making unfair and unfounded judgments grounded in prejudice about people shortly after meeting them. An egalitarian approach to respect and an open-mind can help counter this. For instance, a CEO who worked hard, or had a bit of luck is not more deserving of your respect than a dedicated janitor who has spent his life perfecting his trade. When we ignore labels we can look past prejudice.