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What is behavioral economics? Why does it matter to you?

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Podcast Episodes

What is behavioral economics? Why does it matter to you?

260. Confirmation Bias – I Knew It! (Refreshed Episode)

Today’s episode is all about confirmation bias. My oh my, what an important topic when it comes to applying behavioral science to life and work. You have likely heard the term “confirmation bias” before, whether you heard this episode when it first aired back in May of 2020 or not, as this is one of those concepts that gets thrown around a bit. It is easy to understand on the surface, but the depth of its importance and impact isn’t always realized. 

Because our brains function largely on predictability and a love for the status quo, confirmation bias is part of our lives and work constantly. Did you know that whether or not you believe someone is difficult or easy to work with, can determine whether or not they are easy or difficult to work with? Kids’ performance in school has been found to be tied to the way a teacher was told about them more than on their starting academic ability. Your view of your team or a project or a process can all be a filter that your confirmation bias either uses for good or to keep you stuck. 

Now, in case you are wondering why I chose to refresh this episode today, it is because of the interview coming up on Friday with Wendy Smith about her book Both/And Thinking which will change your life. It is so good and fantastic. Because of that conversation, it felt like the best thing we could talk about today to set the stage is confirmation bias. As you listen today, think about what your biases are and where you have an “either/or” mindset. Our world is not one of binary choices. There are many opportunities in the both/and space that businesses can benefit from embracing and updating your filters to be set up for them is going to make such a difference. So, keep that in mind as you listen today.

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IN A RUSH?

HERE'S A 2 MINUTE TIP.

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SHOW NOTES:

  • [00:40] In today’s conversation, I am joined by Kwame Christian, who I believe is the first guest to be here on the show three times AND my first ever guest on the live show on Fireside. 
  • [01:42] Fireside is a new platform co-founded by Mark Cuban where I was recently invited to do a show. It lets the audience come up on stage to participate and ask questions.
  • [03:20] Today we are talking all about Kwame’s new book, How to Have Difficult Conversations about Race, which officially comes out on September 13th. 
  • [05:18] Kwame shares about himself and his background. Kwame is an attorney, does work in negotiation, and has a background in psychology. 
  • [07:27] Kwame shares his journey in writing his new book. He wants to be where the toughest conversations are. 
  • [08:47] He is not here to teach people how to think about race. He is here to offer guidance on how to talk about race. 
  • [11:11] We are all biased in different types of ways and we need to think more broadly about bias. People need to have a more empowered stance when it comes to bias. 
  • [12:32] Bias is real and it is going to play a role so why don’t we take the time to calibrate and manage the role of bias in our favor? It is a strategic tool we can leverage to our advantage. 
  • [14:22] We are biased against bias. 
  • [15:18] Let’s live with the fact that we have biases and learn to manage them. 
  • [17:22] If we are not making any mistakes that might be an indication of us not interacting with people that see the world differently than us. 
  • [18:11] We have to be outcome-oriented in our conversations. We need to know our goal and then reverse engineer a strategy for that goal. 
  • [20:04] We need to recognize that we need to be aware of the biases but not fear them. Biases make us human. 
  • [23:07] Kwame shares a true story from his book about a man named Daryl that tries to convert KKK members. He has converted over 200 members. 
  • [25:51] We have more persuasive power than we realize.  
  • [28:27] In these conversations we are not going to try to win. 
  • [30:02] His new book can be used by anybody that has any goal in a difficult conversation. 
  • [31:54] Anything that does not violate a physical law is negotiable. We can negotiate anything, we just need the right mindset. 
  • [34:05] Conflict is an opportunity. These difficult conversations provide us with opportunities. We just need to be curious and listen. 
  • [36:26] Melina shares her closing thoughts. 
  • [37:29] Not every battle is yours to fight. Choose where you can have or want impact and go full force, one strategic decision at a time.

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