How often are you wrong? What I mean is, how often do you admit that you are wrong? We are all wrong at least some of the times on issues that are not subjective; you recall a birthday as Feb 3rd instead of March 3rd, you forget that you take a left on Main St then a right on Elm St when giving directions to a friend, etc. We are all wrong some of the time. Understanding why we are wrong, how perception influences our level of trust, and what we can do about it is the subject of Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error by Kathryn Schulz.
Today I am going to discuss a takeaway idea from the Being Wrong. As with any book, there are tons more great ideas that can be gleaned from the pages so be sure to check this one out.
Takeaway #1 from Being Wrong
This takeaway idea is from page 151,
“In fact, much as we tend to automatically accept information from people we trust, we tend to automatically reject information from unfamiliar or disagreeable sources.”
Imagine yourself at a party. Everyone is having a great time. You just finished a conversation about your favorite subject, underwater basket weaving, with the foremost expert in the world. Your head is spinning with ideas of baskets and scuba gear. You take a moment to jot down a few notes and head over to a smallish group of people talking about stock investing.
You are no expert but hey, you know a bit more than the average bear. Always looking to learn more, you join in on the conversation about a particular company stock. Suddenly, the speaker is interrupted by another guest. This guy is a real piece of work, being rude, and telling everyone how great this new company is and how everyone would be an idiot if they didn’t invest now.
So, are you going to trust the information you just heard? What if you found out that the annoying guy was a multi-millionaire stock investor, how about now? According to the book, we are more likely going to dismiss the information because of the source was disagreeable. Most often, you are not going to research the company simply because the guy you heard if from was a jerk.
How can we apply that in business? Customers are more likely to do business with you if your company is familiar and agreeable. In fact, they are more likely to trust the information you provide simply because you are familiar and agreeable. If your company is not active on social media, they are missing an opportunity to become familiar with potential and existing customers. If you are not participating in a community of people, either online or off, you are making it much harder for people to become familiar with your company.
Not convienced? How many times have you purchased a product from a company (Amazon maybe…) because they are familiar? How brand-loyal are you? Do you consider the lesser known brands to be the same quality as the big brands? These are all examples of the takeaway idea from Being Wrong, that we accept information (quality, value, etc) from sources we are familiar with and trust (brands, favorite stores, etc)
Here are a few more resources by Kathryn Schulz and error:
If you haven’t read it yet, Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error by Kathryn Schulz. is a great book and I highly suggest that you put it on your reading list. Remember, just one idea can change your life and who knows, this book may help you find it. This takeaway idea is just a small piece of the great ideas in the book. Go read it for yourself and let it change your life.
Do you rely too much on trusted sources without verifying the accuracy of the information?