Sometimes I come across a little post with no narrative that is so perceptive it sticks. This one resonated recently, partly because it is so beautifully articulated in French:
Chez toutes personnes, on ne voit que deux choses : ce qu’on veut y voir et ce qu’ils veulent bien nous montrer.
~ With everyone you meet, you see only two things: what you want to see and what they are willing to show you.
The underlying message is to be wary of your own judgement and be mindful of what assumptions you've made. You might not be able to avoid making them, but you can be aware that that is all they are - not necessarily accurate or the whole picture. It comes up when coaching people who report a personal clash with a boss or colleague, and it is part of remaining detached when untangling that challenge, and giving people the benefit of the doubt.
Thank you to Alexandra Vassilacos on LinkedIn for the original post.