Your Dangerous Mistakes? Cognitive Bias in Decision Making at Work (Videocast and Podcast of the “Wise Decision Maker Show”)

4 min read

Dangerous judgment errors (known as cognitive bias) threaten our daily decisions. To address cognitive bias in your workplace, you need to evaluate their impact on your own professional activities and on your team and organization. Then, make and implement a plan to address these biases. This episode of the “Wise Decision Maker Show” provides a videocast and podcast about the “Assessment on Dangerous Judgment Errors in the Workplace” that you can use to achieve these goals.

Videocast: “Your Dangerous Mistakes? Cognitive Bias in Decision Making at Work”

Podcast: “Your Dangerous Mistakes? Cognitive Bias in Decision Making at Work”


Links Mentioned in Videocast and Podcast

  • The book Never Go With Your Gut: How Pioneering Leaders Make the Best Decisions and Avoid Business Disasters is available here
  • You are welcome to register for the Wise Decision Maker Course and get a digital version of the assessment for free as part of the course

Video Transcript

Hello everyone and welcome to another episode of the Wise Decision Maker Guide. Today, I’ll share my story of discovering cognitive bias and what I did about it. When I discovered cognitive bias, I already knew that my intuitions sometimes led me astray causing me to make bad decisions, based on research about this topic.

But what I didn’t know was how many kinds of cognitive bias there actually were. When I found that there were over 100 cognitive biases, I was shocked, to be honest. I mean, that there were 100 ways my mind was screwed up and could make mistakes, I had trouble believing that. 

So, I went to Wikipedia, my first source of research, right? And I checked out the cognitive biases – you can check them out there too. And then, of course, looking to the research on this topic, which was pretty credible. But, I wanted to see how they actually impacted my life, so I went through the cognitive biases to see whether it felt true for me, whether I was actually making these same mistakes. 

I looked at one called the planning fallacy where we have a tendency actually to overestimate our plans and use too little resources of time and money and so on, and I noticed that, yeah, I tend to get to places late systematically, making that mistake. So that was clearly a problem. 

Now, another one was the illusion of transparency where we tend to overestimate how clearly we communicate something. And unfortunately, my wife does tell me that I tend to under-communicate and not communicate very clearly. I had that problem with some of my business colleagues as well. So that cost me some money, that was a problem.

Now, another problem was where we tend to be overconfident about the quality of our decisions and jump to conclusions. Unfortunately, that’s a pretty big problem for me. I tend to jump to conclusions way too often, or at least I did when I discovered them. I still have a tendency to try to do that and I try to avoid them. And it cost me a lot of money, and it caused me a lot of stress as well. 

So, I went through all the hundred kinds of cognitive bias and I saw that, yeah yeah yeah, they were pretty applicable so they were a real thing. And so, as much as I didn’t want to believe them, I was forced to accept that they were true and real and this is something I really need to work on.  

This was something that I decided to work on myself, and then eventually teach others when I did consulting, when I do consulting, coaching, speaking, and training for business leaders about these topics. I focus on helping them avoid such cognitive bias and make better decisions. 

As I started to work with business leaders, I discovered that not quite all hundred types of cognitive bias were as important to them. So, for example, there’s a cognitive bias called declinism where we tend to view the past more favorably than we tend to think the current time is or the future is. Now that’s a big problem in politics when we tend to want to go back to the past, but not really a big problem in business, I’ve noticed. 

Another one is hot hand fallacy, where we tend to think that if we experience success with a random event like, let’s say throwing some dice, we have a hot hand and we’ll experience success again. That’s a problem for gamblers, so it’s a serious problem. But it’s not a problem for business leaders. 

Another one is called the IKEA effect. Now, we tend to place too much value on objects and things and whatever that we created ourselves and that tends to be a problem for people in their personal financial lives. I’ve seen people, including some business leaders, have difficulty with selling their house, if they have put a lot of work into it or even their car because they really overprice it.  But it’s not a problem really for everyday business situations.  

So, I looked at the list of 100 kinds of cognitive bias. I developed a list of 30 types of cognitive bias that I saw as most relevant, most important for business leaders. And how I used it was that I gave it to my clients and I just worked with my clients to work through this list of 30 kinds of cognitive bias and see whether they were vulnerable to some of them in there, when I do personal coaching, of course with individuals, I go through their individual behaviors. When I do consulting on a whole organizational level, I do it as part of the consulting and that’s with all people and organization. And that’s called the needs analysis where I evaluate what are the problems and how they need to be addressed.  

So that was how I used it.  And once I perfected it, once I saw that it was really good, very useful, I wrote it up. I wrote it up as an assessment on dangerous judgment errors in the workplace, so that professionals, like yourselves, perhaps, who can’t afford my personal services, can still benefit from my expertise and can still avoid the dangerous, most dangerous judgment errors in the workplace, most dangerous mental blind spots. To help them avoid business decision disasters. 

So what I want you to do and what I think you would benefit from is to check out, first of all, the blog on the assessment. It’s linked in the notes, so you learn how to use the assessment most effectively, and so you can figure out how to use it for your needs.

Now, as always, as part of the Wise Decision Maker Guide, my goal is to provide you with excellent value in avoiding decision disasters. I hope the assessment helps you do so, and I‘d really like to hear from you about it. What do you think of using the assessment in your professional life?  Share your thoughts in the comment section, please, and please click “like” on this episode if you appreciated this episode, share the episode with others who you care about if you care about them avoiding decision disasters. Make sure to subscribe to avoid missing content for yourself on avoiding decision disasters. 

Now you can learn much more about this topic in my book on how to address judgment errors in business settings and maximize success, called Never Go With Your Gut: How Pioneering Leaders Make the Best Decisions and Avoid Business Disasters. And I suggest that if you don’t want to buy the book, you can simply sign up for my Wise Decision Maker Course, which is again linked in the notes.  All right till next time, when you get another episode of the Wise Decision Maker Guide.

Image credit: Disaster Avoidance Experts

Bio: Dr. Gleb Tsipursky empowers you to avoid business disasters as CEO of the boutique consulting, coaching, and training firm Disaster Avoidance Experts. A best-selling author, he wrote Never Go With Your Gut, The Blindspots Between Us, and The Truth Seeker’s Handbook. Tsipursky’s cutting-edge thought leadership was featured in over 400 articles and 350 interviews in Fast Company, CBS News, Time, Scientific American, Psychology Today, Inc. Magazine, and elsewhere. His expertise stems from his background of over 20 years of consulting, coaching, speaking, and training experience across North America, Europe, and Australia. It also comes from his strong research and teaching background in behavioral economics and cognitive neuroscience with over 15 years in academia, including 7 years as a professor at the Ohio State University, with dozens of peer-reviewed academic publications. Contact him at Gleb[at]DisasterAvoidanceExperts[dot]com, follow him on Twitter @gleb_tsipursky, Instagram @dr_gleb_tsipursky, Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn. Most importantly, help yourself avoid disasters and maximize success, and get a free copy of the Assessment on Dangerous Judgment Errors in the Workplace, by signing up for his free Wise Decision Maker Guide.