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Expectations Stereotyping New Hires

We have a new manager in our department, and I get a bad feeling about him. I cannot put my finger on it, but something about him seems off. I have talked to others in my department, and a few feel the same way. How do you deal with a manager who triggers these feelings?

You are concerned about dealing with a manager who triggers these feelings in you, but it could also be argued that you are triggering them in yourself. If he were causing them, almost everyone in the department would feel as you do, but that is not the case.

There is no question that “gut feel” is important in interpersonal relationships, but such reactions can be wrong. You can just as easily have an initially positive reaction to a new manager, only to later find that there is less to the individual than meets the eye.

The best initial step is to try to identify some of this new manager’s specific behaviors that are generating these feelings in you. It is possible that you are victim to some of your own biases and stereotypes.

Importantly, your negative expectations about this individual can impact the way you deal with him, and that can cause him to act in ways that seem “off.” Rather than generating a self-fulfilling prophecy, you should try to set your expectations aside and work positively with him. If this new manager is truly off, the time will not be far off for you to find out.

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