I’m in a new role which (in my small industry) means I’m running across a whole lot of people that I last saw 5-10 years ago. I’m constantly having to remind myself that just because they weren’t particularly helpful/good/on top of things (insert negative adjective here) doesn’t mean that they aren’t now. In fact, some/ many of them have proved to be very impressive with the passage of time. One I saw at a meeting today was very earnest, junior and prone to repeating his bosses (fairly inane) comments 8 years ago. Now he’s making constructive suggestions that bring the meeting back into usefulness.
My reminder to myself about keeping an open mind usually comes with a simultaneous internal reminder of what I was like, professionally, 5-10 years ago and a hope that their memory is less vivid than mine.