Are you working in an organization where leaders demonstrate excellent judgment and make the right decisions? Do the leaders in your organization make choices based on evidence?
One of the most powerful questions one can ask oneself is “Am I rigorously examining all the evidence when making decisions?” Inspiring leaders make good decisions by examining all of the known facts.
Are you honest with yourself about your underlying motives? Are you open to listening to others who have opposing viewpoints? Are you able to make better decisions by creating a workplace climate where alternative viewpoints are encouraged and rewarded?
The Confirming-Evidence Trap
Leaders sometimes seek out information that supports their existing instinct or point of view, while avoiding information that contradicts it. This trap affects where we go to collect evidence, as well as how we interpret it. Consequently, we give too much weight to supporting information and too little to conflicting information.
Don’t necessarily disregard the choice to which you’re subconsciously drawn, but make sure it’s the smart one. Here’s how to put it to the test:
• Check whether you’re examining all evidence with equal rigor.
• Ask someone you respect to play devil’s advocate and argue against the decisions you’re contemplating.
• Be honest with yourself about your motives. Are you really gathering information to help you make a smart choice — or are you looking for evidence that confirms what you already think and want to do?
• When seeking others’ advice, don’t ask leading questions that invite confirming evidence — and don’t surround yourself with “yes” people.
Working with a seasoned executive coach trained in emotional intelligence and incorporating leadership assessments such as the Bar-On EQ-i and CPI 260 can help you become a leader who makes the right decisions. You can become a leader who models emotional intelligence, and who inspires people to become happily engaged with the strategy and vision of the company.