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Strong Opinions, Weakly Held

March 4th, 2007 · No Comments

[via Yuvaraj] Bob Sutton writes:

Perhaps the best description Ive ever seen of how wise people act comes from the amazing folks at Palo Altos Institute for the Future. A couple years ago, I was talking the Institutes Bob Johansen about wisdom, and he explained that to deal with an uncertain future and still move forward they advise people to have strong opinions, which are weakly held. They’ve been giving this advice for years, and I understand that it was first developed by Instituite Director Paul Saffo. Bob explained that weak opinions are problematic because people arent inspired to develop the best arguments possible for them, or to put forth the energy required to test them. Bob explained that it was just as important, however, to not be too attached to what you believe because, otherwise, it undermines your ability to see and hear evidence that clashes with your opinions. This is what psychologists sometimes call the problem of confirmation bias.

Tags: Management