UFI’s Community Manager
You and one of your staff have made a decision. You gave it a lot of thought, did the research and moved forward. Yet, in spite of all that went into the decision, it turned out wrong. Why?
It could be because the law of averages states that it’s impossible to be right all the time, or, when you or your staff member did the research did you show a bias for information that confirmed your view and ignored the rest.
According to psychologists the answer is probably the latter. People gravitate towards information that tells them how a new idea fits in to their own mindset and is workable. In most cases an automatic response.
In a recent post on PsyBlog the author stated, “It’s easier to see where new pieces fit into the picture-puzzle we are working on, rather than imagining a new picture.” The phenomenon is called “confirmation bias,” and ignoring the impact can be costly.
Because confirmation bias lurks is all corners of our offices and boardrooms, it is crucial that every manager be on the lookout for its symptoms. Then, according to the post, you should try to think of alternative scenarios that will give a deeper perspective and perhaps avoid or reduce a number of costly mistakes. The skills managers need is open-mindedness.
We are constantly looking for new and better ways of doing what we do. This helpful common sense post is a good reminder for all of us.