Last weekend when facilitating a leadership retreat in Warrnambool for Leadership Great South Coast, I was introduced to the term ‘assumicide’.
My workshop participants talked about assumicide in the context of leadership and:
- The dangers of ‘first impressions’
- The potential damage done by demographic stereotyping
- Assumptions we make about someone’s background or their capacity to understand (or not)
- The opportunity cost when we place unfair expectations (assumptions) on leaders in public life
Confirmation bias is a type of selective thinking and filtering that results in you favoring information that confirms your preconceived ideas. Of course, this results in you gathering evidence that supports your hypothesis, or beliefs about the world. Hmmm… Sounds like assumicide…
Chip and Dan Heath, in their book ‘Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work’ suggest that to counter confirmation bias, you look for evidence to disconfirm your working hypothesis. This will put you in a much better position to make good – and conscious – decisions. (Just as a quiet aside, when was the last time you looked for evidence to disconfirm your view???)
Assumicide: How guilty are you? What’s the cost? What would it take for you to move beyond the boxes and boundaries you create for yourself and other people? And be open to new possibilities? What might that give you?
Have an Extraordinary day