Evaluating your own bias
It’s easy to get caught up in evaluating either the good or the bad side of things. When things are going well, it’s great to see it as a sign of how perfect everything is. When things go wrong, it’s easy to think that everything is ruined forever, and you’ll never be happy again.
But your business isn’t all good or all bad—it’s just a lot of little moments that add up to what you like to call your business. When we’re reacting to something that has happened, it’s not uncommon to feel like it was completely bad or completely good.
The halo effect is a psychological phenomenon where we assign positive or negative traits to an individual based on our overall impression. For example, if you had a bad experience with someone one time, then every other interaction you have with them will be tainted by how poorly you think of them from the first time around. Or if someone does something nice for us, we may assume that they’re generally a good person and their actions were an exception rather than the norm.
This same principle can apply to how we evaluate our business performance. If you meet a business goal and are excited to have done so, then you might think everything that got you there was done super well and there is no need for improvement. At the same time, if you didn’t get the result, you might think everything is bad and be inclined to want to change everything (and in some cases everyone).
We often look at things in an extreme way, like they’re terrible or they’re amazing. In fact, most things fall somewhere in the middle—which means that it’s easy to over-estimate the impact of recent events. It’s also easy for us to be too quick to judge without all the facts.
Now if you’ve heard this before, then you might be thinking: “I know what she’s going to say!” And no doubt you do know what I’m going to say: you need a wider perspective on your business and how everything is or isn’t working together.
The process for evaluating your business performance needs to involve more than just you and your filters. It should include your team. It could also include a supplier or a customer. You want people who are willing to speak their mind and to maybe disagree with how some people are viewing the situation. This process is not about placing blame or glory, it is about really exploring the things that are working and building strategies to overcome the things that are not. Even from great results, there are things you can learn.
The thing that will catch up most teams is they assume based on limited information. That can mean they take one instance of something and assume that it always happens or think one thing will last forever when in fact it won’t. Reviewing your performance after a goal is met or a project is completed, will help you to understand “how” it happened, so that you can either make sure it does or doesn’t happen the next time.
Remember, the world isn’t perfect. If it seems like something good is happening, there could still be some downsides or bad things that come with it. Similarly, when something bad happens, there may not be anything you can do about it. By staying aware of what’s going on around us and keeping our expectations in check, we can make better decisions that lead us toward an overall higher level of success!
If you are looking for a great tool to help…check out our After Action Review Process… click HERE.
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