How does your ‘past self’ follow you around?
You believe you’ve made major improvements in your performance,
but people close to you see only the past you.
I call this the Red Parrot Phenomenon.
The Exploratorium in San Francisco has a science experiment demonstrating this. Two white panels, one has a red parrot the other has an empty birdcage, the experiment: stare at the red parrot for 30 seconds, then, shift your eyes to the empty birdcage. What happens?
The red parrot appears in the empty cage.
Previous impressions people have of you overwrite what is presently happening.
The more emotional the investment the more difficult it is to see change.
‘Experts’ will say past behavior or performance is often a good indication of future behavior. That is why the Red Parrot Phenomenon is so prevalent.
However, you’ve improved – how do you get people to see you anew!?
Be overt in your change! Talk about it, share your intention, and ask to be held accountable, ask for suggestions.
When someone brings up the past you, acknowledge it and remind him of your intention or improvement. And again ask for his or her support.
Sustained performance improvement takes time and effort. When you continually demonstrate new behavior over time, trust will ensue and your ‘red parrot’ will change.
All the best, Karen
Great analogy, Karen! Although beautiful as the red parrot is, we should let our new colors show through self-conscious effort. Great post.