When we acknowledge someone for the first time and/or come into sight of them and their different personal belongings regularly, giving you a hint of what type of person they are, we all subconsciously produce a prejudgement on them and their type of characters. Admit
it – we all do it! However, prejudging someone can be seen as dangerous and can produce misconceptions of others. They can prevent a perfectly matched relationship from blossoming in the future, all because you thought that person, with a tattoo on his neck and wearing his comfortable tracksuit, had a negative attitude, something you don’t need in your life right now! Although, unfortunately, none of us will stop doing this, I think what we need to do is not let our prejudgement ideas affect out behaviour towards certain individuals. This leads me on to John Evans, a case study built of people’s opinions on this one man. All people giving their judgements have different types of relationships with this man, however one thing they have in common is that they all work in the same building. This case study got me thinking about the concept of prejudging others and how terribly wrong you can be at times.
The first personal statement of John Evans is from Graham, the cleaner of the offices. Although Graham and John have never met, Graham has produced a precise sceptical idea of the type of person John is. Graham has made this preconception of John, just from his work cubical, something that Graham cleans every night. Graham describes John as ‘a tall, man with glasses who’s shy and fastidious’. He has built this idea of John due to the ‘unusual tidiness’ of his work cubicle in comparison to other colleagues, explaining that nothing is out of place, including the wires from his computer. Graham has even produced a prejudgement about his marital status, guessing he is single, as there is no photographs of any family members. This reflects that John is constraint within his workplace and not creative as he may believe that it is unprofessional to bring personal aspect of his life into a proficient environment. Graham has thought in detail about the lifestyle of John Evans without even communicating or seeing him in person.
The next person to give a personal statement on John Evans is Jill from the admin office. Jill and John have exchanged conversation a short amount of times, such as a greeting when they acknowledge each other, or when John needs something, he would ‘politely’ ask. This form of communication can be seen as information transfer, describing communication being flown like a ‘pipeline’. This type of communication is simplistic and can rest on some assumptions, like it is portrayed within the relationship of Jill and John. As well as exchanging a few words with John, Jill has also observed a conversation between himself and another woman. From these interactions and observations Jill describe John as a ‘mystery’ and a ‘dark horse’. On the aspect of Johns appearance, Jill describes him as ‘5’10”, short hair and quite handsome’ going on to explain that he ‘works pretty hard’.
Dave, the head of the department, is the third person to give their opinion on what they believe John is like personally. Their relationship isn’t very strong, however it is more personal then the first two accounts. Dave describes John as ‘a very good worker; precise, organised and committed’. He then goes on to explain that due to the commitment from John, he has quickly worked through different ranks of his job, climbing from junior accounts manager to senior accounts manager. Although they work together, it is made clear by Dave that John does not socialise outside or rarely inside of work, stating that he never joins Dave and the rest of the colleagues for a drink and Dave would not develop a conversation about his personal life. Dave would never ask him whether he has worked abroad before, this gives the impression that John is a very private person, because to me a question like that is not being intrusive, just friendly. Throughout the personal statement of John, Dave believes that is ‘from a wealthy background’, due to his appearance and actions, such as riding a Brompton folding bike. It could be argued that the communication relationship between the two is seen as strategic control. This is when there is a goal for the communicators that needs to be achieved, with the primary goal being to get, whatever is it, achieved. This communication is well suited for Dave and John as each time they communicate, it will be work related, as it is previously stated they do not talk about personal life, meaning that there is a reason for why they are communicating and not out of personal preference.
The last personal statement on John is from not only his work colleague, but also to what seems to be a friend, his name is Kiran. Kiran has a different opinion on John compared to the earlier three, as well as a much closer relationship. Kiran describes John as ‘kind, warm-hearted and loyal’, as well as explaining that they have had discussions about family life as well as life ambitions, displaying that their relationship is on much more of a personal level. Kiran explains that John, opposite to Dave’s thoughts, came from a poor upbringing and lost his Father at a very young age and his Mother just two years ago. John also has siblings, which he is not very close to, due to different interests and a conflict between himself and his sister (the lady who Jill seen John having word with). However out of work John does has a social life, again different to what other colleagues believe, he volunteers with the less fortunate children and likes to keep himself active, similar to the days when he was in university.
After reflecting on the four different personal statements that have been given about John, it is clear that he has an equal balance of creativity and constraint within his communication. John holds back on certain information where he thinks he needs to act more professional and confines in others he feels more closer and comfortable around. It is apparent that John is a very hard worker and has gone to all extra efforts to achieve where he is today, he not only works hard inside his work place but also outside by volunteering and trying to make a positive influence on disadvantaged children’s lives. Also John is a preserved and respectful man that will go the extra effort to complete his work, even if they may affect his lifestyle.
If John read these statements, I believe he may be shocked by some such as Dave believing he is from a wealthy background and Jill, describing his a ‘dark horse’ when in fact it was his sister. John may be a little thrown back by the thought of a stranger producing a large preconception of John and in such a personal detail, especially due to how preserved John is. The idea of a stranger developing such an idea of him might make him feel uncomfortable. I believe that John would be flattered by Jill’s remarks and happy to believe that Kiran speaks of him so highly.
In order to produce a more detailed follow up report on John and to gain a deeper knowledge on the type of person he is inside and outside of work, questions I would influence to be asked would be;
- What do you like to do in your spare time? Hobbies, interests.
- Where do you see yourself in the foreseeable future?
- What is your greatest achievement to date?
- What are your top 5 skills you believe you have?
- What do you choose to do to relax yourself?
Interview statements of myself
Someone I used to work with:
I would say you’re an outgoing person who enjoys new challenges. You’re thoughtful and caring whilst still being able to stand your ground & get what you want out of life.
A family friend and I also used to work with:
I have known Miss Gledhill for several years. Her ambition to achieve is obvious from our first meetings together. She’s a confident individual whom is driven by future goals, she thrives from a new challenge and is always looking to better herself. Since a very young age she has been employment driven and not been out of employment since she has been 13 years old. This just shows her passion for work and drive for a new challenge. As well as employment, Chelsey excels socially within her group of friends and it would not be uncommon for her to be the ring leader or sole organiser ensuring that whatever the activity everyone’s involved and that it’s well organised. As a whole Chelsey is motivated, organised and a task delegating individual. keeping hold of these characteristics will ensure that she fulfils any future task that is produced to her to a high standard.
I am grateful for both of these comments, as they reflect me personally in a nice way. I would say that both of these comments highlight that I enjoy taking part in new things, these being tasks at work, as well as new activities. As well as this, it reflects that I am a hard worker as well as a people pleaser, all of which I do believe is the truth, as delivering work to my highest standards is something I aim to do. The construction of myself towards others will reflect that I am a hardworking individual, this will give organisations a positive perspective on myself as an individual. However in one of the statements it says, ‘it would not be uncommon for her to be the ring leader’, I do not believe that this is always true as this can come off in a negative perceptive, that I can be to controlling. However sometimes I do take the lead whilst organising events and trips out with my friends, as a lot of my friends are very laid back and without that motivation we would not socialise. Overall I am happy with both statements and believe the do reflect truthfully of me as a person.