Have you ever jumped to conclusions too quickly as a leader? Have you ever misjudged someone’s intentions as a leader? Enjoy the video below, it has a fun and surprising ending.
Being a good leader requires that you make decisions quickly. But jumping to conclusions too quickly can negatively affect your ability to lead for two important reasons.
1. The Halo and Horns Effect. Naturally when we see someone do one or two things really well, we often jump to the conclusion that they do everything well.
Likewise and naturally, we often and too quickly judge people and put them in a box based on one or two things we have observed that we don’t like. I am sure each of you have had that experience where you form a negative impression of someone and think or say, “I don’t like that person.” However, once you get to know them they become one of your good friends.
Or maybe you have had this experience where you believe someone is snooty (believes others are not as good as them) and as a result of your judgment you don’t acknowledge them. In turn they ignore you which only validates how you feel about them being snooty. Now you both believe each other is snooty!
Understanding that we have this tendency to apply a halo or horns can help us understand the need to not jump too quickly to conclusions when hiring, building relationships and leading others.
2. The Fundamental Attribution Error. Another natural error we make is to attribute other’s bad behavior to their character and ours to the environment.
Patrick Lencioni, author of the book “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team” (one of my personal favorites) uses a powerful analogy illustrating how we do this all the time. Next time you are at the grocery store you might see a father scolding his child and think to yourself, “that man has anger management issues.” But when you go home and scold your children you think to yourself, “I sure do have unruly children!”
Next time someone cuts you off in traffic if you are like most you will attribute their bad driving to being a general jerk! But next time you cut someone else off it is most likely due to an innocent mistake you made, or because you have to get somewhere quickly, not because you are a jerk!
However, if the person who cuts you off is someone you know and like, watch how your tune changes. The key for leaders to overcome the fundamental attribution error is to get to know those they work with. The better we understand people, the less likely it is that we will engage in making this error.
Let me know your thoughts on the following video. And again, the ending might surprise you! It’s a great video to share with others and/or as part of your next team meeting.
Want more videos and posts on judging others? You will enjoy some of the links below the video.
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Other great posts on judging others and jumping to conclusions you might enjoy: