Have you ever noticed that the people demanding their opinion be heard are the last peoples’ opinion you want to hear?
Why is that?
I have a few ideas … want to hear my opinion? I knew you did.
The Dunning-Kruger effect is a thing, and it’s real. If you’re unfamiliar with the Dunning-Kruger effect, it is a cognitive bias in which people believe they are smarter and more capable than they really are.
Basically, we are not smart enough to realize how not smart we are.
And, I definitely use ‘we’ intentionally.
I catch myself far too often listening to a conversation, just waiting for an opportunity to save the day with my one-of-a-kind wisdom. Once they hear what I have to say, the seas will part, the drawbridge will lift and all will be good.
So what is it that drives: 1. Our overestimate of our knowledge and capabilities, and 2. Our desire to share our opinion regardless of our true knowledge of the circumstances?
Why Should We Care?
Knowing what we know about ourselves and what we’ve been through, it seems pretty natural that we would give significant weight to our personal experiences. They impacted us and played a large part in making us who we are. Why wouldn’t we think they are important. If they mattered to us, why wouldn’t they matter to you?
You’ve heard of YouTube, right? It’s pretty clear if you watch a YouTube video on changing the oil in your car, BOOM - you’re a mechanic. If you watch a video on a new baseball drill, BOOM - you’re a coach.
That is until we realize we don’t know anything. Unfortunately, the realization of our lack of knowledge is well behind our proclamation of expertise. For most, time will bring understanding. For the others, get used to ignoring them.
REAL TALK - Action Steps
Here are a few ideas that may help you work through the opinion biases you face.
We are all certainly entitled to an opinion. However, we do not have the right to make other people listen to it. As a leader, it’s critical we recognize our tendency to view our opinions as more factual than they are. Afterall, self-awareness is a superpower.
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I'm a teacher, coach, and parent seeking excellence while defining success on my own terms.