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If the Shoe Fits: You and Selective Hearing

If the Shoe Fits: You and Selective Hearing

Post from: MAPpingCompanySuccess

5726760809_bf0bf0f558_mA Friday series exploring Startups and the people who make them go. Read all If the Shoe Fits posts here

Founders are constantly considering choices and making decisions to move their company forward, but the anxiety, stress and fear that accompany the excitement and frequent highs of startup life can distort and disrupt the decision-making process.

Noreena Hertz, professor of economics at University College London, explains this in the light of her own medical drama.

When the volunteers were given information that was better than they hoped or expected…they adjusted closer to the new risk percentages presented. But if it was worse, they tended to ignore this new information.

It’s called selective hearing; hearing what you want to hear—hearing whatever agrees with you and rationalizing or ignoring that which doesn’t.

It’s a notorious managerial mindset when checking references and accounts for a large percentages of bad hires.

Founders can be subject to serious cases of selective hearing, especially when the market doesn’t fully validate their vision.

When we find data that supports our hopes we appear to get a dopamine rush similar to the one we get if we eat chocolate, have sex or fall in love. But it’s often information that challenges our existing opinions or wishful desires that yields the greatest insights.

For founders, hearing and responding intelligently to those challenges does more than provide insights.

In fact, the right response can be the difference between success and failure.

Image credit: HikingArtist

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