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Confirmation Bias

Want to talk about Confirmation Bias? My kid was out in the backyard looking for signs that Leprechans were around last night – and finding them. Scraps of paper that the wind has blown into our yard, must be from Leprechan gum. Finding a particularly thin wisp of grass – must be a Leprechaun hair. Seeing something dart by out of the corner of their eye, must have been a Leprechaun.

Exhibit A: Leprauchan Gum Wrapper
Exhibit A: Leprauchan gum wrapper

Cute and magical when you are seven, but problematic as a leader.

How does confirmation bias creep in for you?

Do your employees always agree with you? Do you make decisions unilaterally? Do you have a deep knowledge of a subject area? If you answered yes, those are places where confirmation bias can creep in.

To counter confirmation bias, intentionally seek diverse and conflicting advice and opinions. Empower your staff to question and critique your ideas and bring forth their own. Surround yourself with peers whose skillsets, lived experiences and perspectives differ from yours. It will support you in being a better leader and decision-maker.

It might not be as obvious as my seven years old’s quest for proof of Leprechans, but getting curious about where confirmation bias might be showing up for you is a worthwhile endeavor.

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