Belief-bias effect can easily destroy your career ambitions, dreams, and aspirations. But you can project yourself against it. How? Please bare with me.
For over 40 years, thousands of educators, parents, and corporate trainers have believed in learning styles (visual, auditory, kinesthetic, tactile). The proponents of learning styles claim that people learn better when they are exposed to content or information in their preferred learning styles.
Hundreds of books have been influenced by the claim. Publishers ran with the idea and created lots of educational products that match students’ learning styles. In fact, back in the day you couldn’t dare to give a “good speech” on learning without mentioning the learning styles. By the way, I used to know several Learning Styles Specialists. Yes, that was a job title!
But recently the unthinkable happened. What exactly?
Some researchers questioned the learning styles ideas. So, they decided to look for the evidence and data that support the claim that teaching to people’s learning styles is an effective strategy. Needless to say, these researchers challenged a popular belief. How could they?
Since you know where I am going with this, you might already guess what the researchers discovered.
As a result of the discovery, educators and trainers nowadays who want to sound informed and cool find pleasure in debunking the learning styles myth.
This story leads us to 2 ways belief-bias effect can ruin your career. Now you are wondering, “What is the belief-bias effect”?
In simple terms, it’s the tendency that most professionals have to let personal values, beliefs, and prior knowledge cloud their rationality and lead them to decisions that align with their prejudices.
Now you must be wondering, “ How does belief-bias effect impact my career?” Let me explain. Since I am not your Continuous Improvement Coach, I will keep my explanation as brief as possible. Let’s dive in.
How belief-bias effect is holding you back
# 1- You are quick to accept and support any ideas you like —or you believe make sense to you.
How to avoid that? Questioning everything you think you know is a good place to start. Why would I do that? Don’t you want to see better—and clearer? Taking a closer look at traditional knowledge is the only way you will be able to see and notice things—and understand better.
Do you want to be an invisible professional? In don’t think so. But the brutal truth is, to repeat Seth Godin,“ You can’t be seen until you learn to see.”
In other words, being able to question your own beliefs and challenge your personal assumptions will set you apart. How? It’s the best way to train yourself to see things for what they are, not for what you are told they are. It’s learning to see the “not-so-obvious”— what the average professional fails to see.
# 2- You are quick to accept and support popular ideas or point of views.
How to avoid that? Two things: 1) Question all popular ideas and beliefs and 2) keep an open mind when dealing with new ideas and changes. “Why doing that”, you may ask? The learning styles story is a good example that popular beliefs are not always accurate and sound.
To follow the crowd is the best way to become an average professional. Do you want to be average? I did not think so.
The secret is, you can’t become a visible talent and make change happen unless you question the status quo. Believing what everybody believes feels safe and secured when you don’t see clearly. But when your belief-bias effect mask comes off, you will quickly realize hiding in your comfort zone is the riskiest career move ever.
Again, I am not your CI Coach; but let me ask you this: How will you protect yourself and your career against belief-bias effect?
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