Acknowledging Your Blind Spots

One of the things you discover working in any sort of client facing field is how poorly most people make decisions. It becomes apparent that we all have significant blind spots and these can impact how we articulate our positions, strategy creation, and impact execution. In addition to blind spots, we all have biases that impact our decision making. Its interesting to see how those blind spots and biases play off one another to create positions that are occasionally irrational or nonsensical.

There’s a terrific article in the MIT Sloan Review that discusses decision making and behavior economics. It walks through how various biases frame our thinking (specifically around Covid-19) but are worth keeping in mind even after we exit the warped reality that the coronavirus is creating.

Are our decisions anchored in some sort of belief that nothing should ever change? Do we allow our political leanings to overly influence how we tackle problems and frame solutions? Are we only absorbing information that supports what we already know? Are we following the crowd because it’s what everyone else is doing?

I have heard a lot of theories around what will happen when we exit this reality and emerge into a post-covid world. And I wonder whether any of these narrators understand that they are essentially talking their own position.

Office space will come back just like before.

It’s going to be a “V-Shaped” recovery.

This is the end of office space as we know it.

2020 is a lost cause.

We’ll never recover from this. Nobody is going to be able to pay their rent.

We’ll be back to normal in a month.

I’m sure that each person believes all of the things they are telling themselves every day because it supports some bias or helps them avoid a blind spot.

I suggest, that instead of trying to talk your position, focus on trying to understand all of the options available, make decisions based on probabilities, and then assess risk.

And when you talk your position (like I’m doing in my previous post), acknowledge that you are doing so, and be willing to listen to alternate proposals.

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