Avoiding Cognitive Bias in Meetings

Making Objective, Rational Group Decisions

Avoiding Cognitive Bias in Meetings - Making Objective, Rational Group Decisions

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Identify the "one way" thinking of cognitive bias.

Imagine that your boss has asked you to come up with products that exploit a new technology the company has developed. So, you ask your team members to research the market and brainstorm ideas, and you schedule a meeting to discuss them. 

One team member, Serena, starts the meeting by making her proposal. She has sound statistics to back her idea up, and she explains why she thinks the product will be successful. Another team member, Sayed, puts forward his suggestion next. He pitches his product idea, and he has data from several focus groups to support his suggestion. Unfortunately, these are both complex products – you can only develop one idea or the other, not both.

As your team members discuss the options, it's clear that the majority prefers Serena's product. Many people "feel good" about it, and they believe that it would be the best way to use the organization's new technology.

You may not realize it but there's a good chance that your team members have made a biased decision in this meeting, simply because Serena presented her product first. This is an example of "cognitive bias."

In this article, we'll look at what cognitive bias is, we'll explore the various ways it can occur during meetings, and we'll outline strategies you can use to overcome it....

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