We want to be right.
However, being right require willingness to admit that you’re sometimes wrong. The world is complex and constantly changing, which makes it difficult to understand.
Especially on the first try.
But people generally tend to stick with their first judgments, interpreting new information in a way that confirms them, and disregarding disconfirming evidence.
There are at least two reasons why this happens:
- Being wrong can make you look like you’re incompetent. It’s embarrassing to admit you’re wrong.
- Consistency is highly valued in our culture and changing your mind would result in inconsistent behavior.
Many, if not most, people would rather receive validation than hear the truth. They care more about looking good than about making good decisions.
How do you change that?
Start with yourself. Knowing what the confirmation bias is allows you to notice it in your own thought process and change your behavior.
Your willingness to admit you’re wrong will make it okay for others to do the same. We all know that we’re human and that we’re not perfect but we try to pretend we never make mistakes to protect our image. However, the first person who’s courageous enough to drop the mask hardly ever gets ridiculed. Instead, this act usually inspires others to follow along, creating the foundation of a culture of honesty and trust.
Will you be courageous enough to transform your culture?