How to stop bias affecting your decision making

Written by Tanya McCalmon CMgr MCMI Monday 11 September 2023
It’s widely believed that our gut instinct is the most reliable authority. But we can’t ignore the power of bias, always lurking under the surface. Here are five ways to bust that bias and enhance your decision-making
An illustration of a person with a blindfold on that has "BIAS" written on it

In the last month, you’ve probably had to come up with a solution to a problem without the time to consider different angles or perspectives. 

Being able to think on your feet is often seen as a desirable skill. Organisations all over the world reward those who can make decisions quickly. “Go with your instinct” is a common fallback when we find ourselves time-scarce and needing to make decisions. In today’s fast-paced work environments, it’s a scenario that’s all too familiar. 

But, a problem with high-speed thinking is that it isn’t really suited to new situations. Fatigue, pressure and familiarity can sway our judgement, making us rely on past experience rather than objective analysis. 

Though we like to think of ourselves as logical and rational individuals making independent choices, this is not the case. Most of the time, our brains work to prioritise efficiency of thought over rational thinking.

By having a deeper understanding of our thinking processes, you become better equipped to recognise biases in your decision-making

As managers, the pressure to meet targets and deliver results can leave us with even less time to think. While “going with your gut” can be useful in everyday situations and emergencies, this fast thinking makes us prone to cognitive bias (when our brains see, remember or understand things in ways that aren’t completely accurate), and can cause less than desirable outcomes in business.

But by having a deeper understanding of our thinking processes and understanding the influence of cognitive biases, you become better equipped to recognise the potential for biases in your decision-making and implement strategies to mitigate their impact.

Want to learn how to stop bias affecting your decision-making?


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