According to a new study published in the Journal of Neuroscience, our brains determine how trustworthy a face is before it’s fully perceived. This supports the notion that we judge people very quickly. We anesthesia folks, often judge people subconsciously by the numbers showing on the monitor when we walk in other rooms to give anesthesia providers’ breaks, lunch reliefs or when we take over the cases. I am guilty as charged as well.
“Doubt yourself and you doubt everything you see. Judge yourself and you see judges everywhere. But if you listen to the sound of your own voice, you can rise above doubt and judgment. And you can see forever.” ~Nancy Lopez
The reason it propped me to write the post is that I was the one being judged. I walked in a urology room to give a lunch break. I was told that the urologist would start lasering soon and the provider would be back soon before the case was over. I was told that I should maintain the course of low gas, well anesthetized stage till the anesthesia provider’s return. Unfortunately, I failed the task. 10 minutes into the case, the urologist informed me that she was done with the case. I quickly checked the twitches and revered him due to the amount of muscle relaxant used within the short period of time. The TV wasn’t adequate initially and patient started to wake up after they put the legs down. You all know how this goes. Patient’s heart rate went up and BP went up as well when he was irritated by the tube. The anesthesia provider came back at this moment and needless to say, it was not a happy ending. It was the first time I worked with the provider, and I can sense that the opinion was already formed in her head when she first came in. Even though I tried to explain what happened, the truth is that it doesn’t matter to her — the judgement was already made.
This made me realize that I am guilty as charged of judging people based on the few seconds of information that was presented to me when I walked in a room in the past. The reality is that the information based on the few seconds of information may not represent the whole story. I judged people based on the false assumptions that the information I saw was adequate to make a sound judgement. We just don’t know the entire situation and the circumstances that are involved. Yet, we do have a natural tendency to try to make sense of things of the information we have and like that example pointed out, the problem is that the information we have is too small. It’s not enough. It’s like a grain of sand compared to a beach.But what we can learn is that our judgments may not be objective as we thought we are. We may not be able to stop judging people as we are most likely wired this way. But if we can step back and think in other’s shoes, we may be less judgmental and more objective, hence a better work place for all of us!