A sign of great leadership

The way we think makes a massive difference to the potential we ultimately reach in the future.

Great leaders do something that isn't very popular in today's right-answer-based world.

Great leaders publicly acknowledge and admit to their shortcomings.

We are all obviously biased in the particular way that we see the world, great leaders however know that, and are not afraid to challenge their own beliefs as to how things are.

The effect that rigid and entrenched mental biases have on the performance and potential of individuals and companies is astounding, which is probably why there is so much research being conducted at the moment by psychologists and behavioural economists in the field.

The way we think makes a massive difference to the potential we ultimately reach in the future.

A recent Forbes article outlining just five prominent mental biases that we find in most businesses - points to just a few of these mental flaws that are worthwhile making yourself aware of:

  1. Availability Bias

“The availability bias is the natural human tendency to be more biased toward information that’s easy to access mentally,” says Tuff.

2.  Status quo bias

Generally, humans prefer things to stay the same. We like things to feel normal.

This bias, of course, explains why feelings of depression and anxiety have soared during the pandemic. We simply don’t like things to throw off our present reality.

3.  Egocentric bias

The egocentric bias means we tend to overweight our point of view over the point of view of others. In business, leaders give in to egocentric bias when they pay more attention to data that supports their point of view and less attention to data that conflicts with it.

4.  Affect heuristic bias

This bias means we pay more attention to things that spark a strong, intense emotional reaction. For example, if we see information or data that alarm us, we are more likely to take action on it. If the data doesn’t deliver an emotional punch, we’re likely to ignore it.

5.  Overconfidence bias

“People overestimate the likelihood that they are correctly judging a situation, and they underestimate the chance that they are wrong,” says Tuff.

Those are just five biases that can lead our thinking astray, the Visual Capitalist has a handy codex of apparently all of the biases that we should be aware of.

We all hate to think that we might be wrong.

However, the ability to own your own shortcomings is an amazing strength. Great leaders know this and use it to their advantage. What looks like a weakness is their greatest secret weapon.

5 Cognitive Biases Blocking Your Success
Deloitte Consulting innovation experts explain the mental errors that prevent leaders from spotting trends.
Every Single Cognitive Bias in One Infographic
Here’s all 188 cognitive biases in existence, grouped by how they impact our thoughts and actions. We also give some specific cognitive bias examples.