Ok. I am usually known for my support of line staff and trying to create happy workplaces. I believe that we shouldn’t be pained by work. I believe that employees should be able to grow and develop skill sets. I believe that managers are accountable to their employees. Now that I have my orientation and workplace framework out of the way, let me share what may be an unpopular opinion.
I believe in first impressions. I know people evolve and should be allowed to evolve. However, first impressions matter. I also have a spidey-sense about people. I can read people fairly quickly. I look at people’s eyes. I look at body language. I listen to nuance and innuendo. I have only been wrong about two times when quickly assessing people. There have also been a few people that I have not been able to read. However, all others, I got them pegged and I have them pegged right.
With all that said, I have to listen to my gut when it comes to those people that I immediately read as either toxic, angry or as backstabbers. I have had several jobs within a year and as such I have had several “first days”. On those days, my spidey-sense got activated and I knew immediately who was going to give me a chance and who was not going to be a friend. What is amazing is that those that were set to not make my life easier were the ones that considered themselves to be martyrs. In their eyes, they were the ones always working hard and that were misunderstood. Let me tell you that despite their self-perception, they were usually the mean-spirited ones. Mean people in the workplace usually show their true color (even if in a flash) on your first day. There is always a tell and you have to be on the look out for that.
Now, those mean people that outright complain to you on your first day about anyone or anything, should just be let go. I know, that sounds overly harsh. However, let me tell you in every instance, you eventually end up firing those very same people after much turmoil. Craziness can be avoided if you just nip it in the bud. Don’t let it fester and grow and infect others. That is what those people end up doing.
Now, if you were to make such moves you have to have good instincts. You have to be right. You always want to be fair. But if you are good, very good, at reading people, go ahead and get rid of those toxic people on your first day. Haters will stay haters trust me. Your future self will be grateful.