Dream employees

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Everyone in business has an image in their mind of what their dream employee would be. There is a tendency, when interviewing potential employees to look indications that fit that image. This can lead to a distorted, idealized view of the person being considered, leading us to see things that might not really be there.

With every new employee, there is a kind of honeymoon period where everything seems to be going exactly the way we hoped it would go. Then, as time goes on, we start to see things. Maybe an apparently cheerful, upbeat person suddenly appears moody. Or a person who has demonstrated a strong sense of punctuality suddenly starts coming in late. Or any of a thousand other things that can deviate from the expectation.

It is important to avoid idealizing. We need to realize that the dream employee is much more a creation of our own mind than a reality. No one is perfect. But we tend to see what we want, not what’s real. This is a setup for disappointment and frustration.

We need to allow time for a new person to settle in and become more comfortable with their new work situation. We will have a much clearer view of who a person is and what they are capable of after we have been around them for a while. They will also have a much better idea of who we are and what the position entails.

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