A couple of weeks ago I wrote about a great book on making better decisions; Thinking in Bets by Annie Duke. Today, I want to introduce you to Think Twice: Harnessing the Power of Counterintuition by Michael J. Mauboussin.
I don’t know. Great!, that’s where you want to start, I said. Society rewards experience, expertise, having all the answers. But better answers aren’t found in the domain of old ideas, they’re found when we actively question what we think we know and venture outside our field of expertise.
Most of the significant problems in society involve people, so making progress on these problems requires a deep understanding of people. However, it is very easy to be wrong about other people’s motivations. Specifically, how the act and why they do so. We make assumptions based on how we see the world and so we’re often wrong.
In a fast-paced digital world, the increasing pressure to succeed in the tech industry is taking a toll on employees. Recent studies show that at least 58% of employees in the tech industry experience the Imposter Syndrome in their careers.
While overcoming the imposter syndrome can be challenging, you can take strategic steps to dampen the feelings and become successful in your career.
Let me present you with a situation: Your manager is pushing you to take on more responsibilities. He calls you to his office and hands you a memo that lays out a new project which he asks you to lead. You’re dumbfounded and appreciative for the opportunity, wasn’t expecting it. But, you’re also a little scared to take on such an important project. You begin thinking about how this could be an opportunity for your career but also a threat.
A top skill to have, which requires a lot of work, is clear thinking. And the work required to have clarity of thought requires awareness of what impedes it in the first place. Those impediments are called cognitive biases, which are thinking shortcuts we use to make big and small decisions. We all have them, nobody is immune to them.