James Chalmers, Head of Assurance, PwC (UK) fetched a smile on our faces when during his presentation, he flashed the topic of this blog post in a PowerPoint slide. No surprises that some of us read this ambigram, innovated by Chritopher Uhl, as “Opportunity is nowhere” while a few as “Opportunity is now here”. This different way to see the same object is primarily influenced by perception and biases applicable in almost all contexts, including decision making in corporate leadership.
Perception, critical in making correct decision, can be influenced by the time, environment, mind-set, personality, intentions, and history of the perceiver. Perception can also be influenced by the appearance, personality, attitude, and situation of the person, place, or object being perceived. Interestingly, most of the senior managers and leaders are aware of the role perception plays in decision making however still they can be more mindful mitigating the impact. One of my supervisors effectively uses “Ten Second Pause” technique to minimize the influence of perception on decisions. On the final moment of closing a significant decision, he defers the decision for merely ten seconds and very quickly recalls his process of taking that decision. This pause helps him to identify any shadow of perceptions and biases in decision making. Therefore quite often he ends up making minor or major amendments to his already conceived decision. This simple sounding technique is quite powerful and requires only one thing from leaders….an honest soul search!
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