Seek to avoid confirmation bias - Deepstash

Seek to avoid confirmation bias

Confirmation bias is the tendency to seek out information that gives a positive result but ignore information that refutes one's theories or desired outcomes.

Ask yourself: 'What if I'm wrong' or 'What if the opposite information were true?' This can help illuminate any important factors that are being overlooked.

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MORE IDEAS FROM 8 Impactful Ways to Remove Bias From Your Business Decisions

Think about specific people who will be directly impacted by a business decision before making one.

Thinking about other people and what they might say can really help remove your own biases from decision-making: Amazon famously has an empty chair in their board meetings, which represents the customer, for example.

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Attend unconscious bias training

It's the biases we don't realize we have that impact our decision-making the most.

Once you understand your conscious and unconscious biases, work with your team to raise all concerns and identify all opportunities. 

Useful tool: the SWOT analysis helps, but getting input from others first is critical to analyze objectively.

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Before making any decision, reflect on the facts surrounding that choice. Then, study your decision well. 

  • If you have peace with your decision, chances are, the decision is right,
  • If you are uneasy and you find yourself asking for help from others, you know it could be the wrong one. 

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Staying humble helps you see past your biases and ultimately improves your judgment. If you don't know what biases you have, find people you trust and ask them about your blind spots.

You'll see past your biases if you never stop learning.

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A great way to remove bias from decision-making is by consistently collecting data and suggestions in the workplace.

People can submit their concerns anonymously if they feel more comfortable so you can get all the details and become aware of what's happening in your business and make informed decisions based on what you know.

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Ensuring there is a diversity of thought in your inner circle can yield better business decisions.

It's important to have people around you who think differently from you on various issues. This will keep you from going into an 'echo chamber' where the only opinions you hear are the ones you already have.

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360-degree feedback is a good system that allows others to anonymously provide their concerns.

Additionally, building in and supporting an open-door policy is beneficial. The goal is to build accountability and prove to the employees that their voices are heard.

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Bias is everywhere

Being aware of your own biases doesn't mean you will be free of them. You need a system that will help prevent your proclivities from taking control.

Rather refer to bias as "predictable mistakes" that people make when planning. For instance, getting anchored on last year's numbers. That is bias, but the language provides another way of addressing it. It is more pointed and practical.

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