Leadership

Judge slowly 

It often appears that we are biologically wired and socially conditioned to quickly form opinions, some rather strong.

I like you or I don’t.

You’re right or you’re wrong.

That idea will never work.

Trump won’t gain any support (or Hillary’s a shoo-in).

It’s a fad.

He’s guilty.

And so on.

Sometimes our reactive minds and intuition serve us well (see Blink); other times not so much (see Thinking Fast and Slow).

Beyond the intellectual debate, it’s plain to see that we live in world of increasing complexity, expanding choice and nearly infinite access. We are connected in ways never thought imaginable. The “wisdom” of crowds can cause a trivial concept to gain notoriety, while something substantive and important fails to gain any traction. What often appears to be winning or noble is eventually revealed to be anything but.

As it turns out, our ability to predict the future is pretty poor. Our skill in seeing the present reality is often not a whole lot better. More and more, it’s harder to detect the signal amidst the noise, at least at first.

It’s rarely to our advantage–or mankind’s for that matter–to form snap judgments about people and their ideas. Well, unless we take some pleasure in being wrong an awful lot.

If a bear is about to attack you by all means reach a quick conclusion and spring into action. In just about all other cases, judge slowly. We’ll all be better for it.

2 thoughts on “Judge slowly 

  1. Thank you, Steve for your thoughtful, timely and inspiring ‘Judge Slowly’ blog. There is a great article. Dazzled’, in Sunday’s (9/6/2015) New York Times Magazine by Mark Leibovich, He talks about the danger of ‘bright, shiny, objects’ in these ‘dazzle-me-now’ days where wedge issues that have little relevance to our well being become outsize on our screens and in our thoughts, obscuring the important issues that deserve our attention.

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