“Confirmation bias” is the normal human tendency to interpret information in a way that confirms one’s preconceptions. For example, if you have a preconceived notion that your solution is the best solution to a problem, you will tend to interpret data or information you receive as supportive of, or in alignment with, your preferred solution.
If you are looking to improve your communication skills and sharpen your leadership ability, watch out for “confirmation bias.”
In addition to impacting how we view or perceive data, “Confirmation bias” can apply to how we view people as well. For example, if you, as a leader, have a preconceived notion that only people with certain educational backgrounds will thrive in certain positions, you will likely interpret data and information in a way that supports your preconceived notion. This can lead to limiting the growth opportunities of your team or failing to spot potential and nurture it.
Confirmation bias can impact all aspects of your leadership. Savvy professionals are aware that confirmation bias exists and strive to overcome it by asking themselves “is there another away to view this information?” or “could confirmation bias be at play here?” While asking these types of questions won’t eliminate confirmation bias in its entirety, checking your perceptions with these types of questions can minimize the impact confirmation bias can have on your success.
For more tools on how to leverage the power of perspective, check out these on-line learning programs
Pamela Jett is a communication skills and leadership expert who knows that words matter! In her keynote presentations, workshops, books and online learning programs, she moves beyond communication theory into practical strategies that can be implemented immediately to create the kind of leadership, teamwork, and employee engagement results her clients want.