Attribution Error

Fundamental Attribution Error is “the tendency to believe that what people do reflects who they are”, (Wikipedia) that is, to overestimate the role of personality in what they do and underestimate the importance of the situation or context. i.e. if you bump into someone, it is an understandable mistake, if someone else bumps into you,Continue reading “Attribution Error”

‘Attitudes are more important than facts’

A colleague at work once told me a story about his mother. She was in a care home at the time and was getting a bit confused, possibly in part because of the drugs she was on, but she didn’t always know what was happening. He went to visit her regularly and, on this oneContinue reading “‘Attitudes are more important than facts’”

The importance of substance

I used to work for a small marketing consultancy run by an entrepreneur called Tony. The man had a confidence quite out of proportion to his ability and had an ego that needed constant feeding. “Do you remember the conference I went to the other day?” he told his fellow director, Philip. “They loved me.Continue reading “The importance of substance”

Dunning Kruger

The ‘Dunning-Kruger effect’ describes a cognitive bias which results in incompetent people mistakenly believing they are much more capable than they are. The Wikipedia entry explains that ‘people suffering from the effect: tend to overestimate their own level of skill fail to recognize genuine skill in others and fail to recognize the ‘extremity of theirContinue reading “Dunning Kruger”

Underthinking

Some of us suffer from overthinking. We think long and hard about things, blow them up out of all proportion until they become impossibly complicated, to the point of overwhelming us, sometimes before we’ve even got started. There is a lot written on the topic and many people freely admit to struggling against this badContinue reading “Underthinking”

Shy decorator

Some time ago I got a firm in to decorate a couple of rooms that needed sprucing up. The decorator himself was a shy, very quiet little Irishman. He hardly spoke a word and answered my questions in mumbled monosyllables. But he was a great decorator. He was obsessive and perfectionist, making every effort toContinue reading “Shy decorator”

Nice guys finish last

We have all heard the expression ‘Nice guys finish last’. Well, I guess that could be right (although some dispute it), but there are two parts to that equation – ‘where we finish’ and ‘being nice’, and, in life, we get ‘points’ for both those things. So, we should all try to finish as highContinue reading “Nice guys finish last”

Riding a bicycle

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.”  Albert Einstein We need to keep going, that’s the most important thing, pushing ourselves out of our comfort zone to tackle the next challenge. If not, we get bored. That’s how it works. We need to push ourselves, but not tooContinue reading “Riding a bicycle”

On being polite (again)

If four cars approach a roundabout at the same time from four different directions, you do not want them all to carry on straight ahead at full speed and cause a great big pile up. On the other hand, you do not want them all to stop, each waiting for what seems like an ageContinue reading “On being polite (again)”

Assertiveness

I recently came across a study on assertiveness. Its objective was to explore the issue of people being overly assertive, notably in the workplace. The study was wide-ranging and complex, but also very thorough. It was maybe 20 pages long, with densely packed text in tiny font, and went into enormous detail on the backgroundContinue reading “Assertiveness”