We wanted the title of this post to be:
Why Mac Users are so Verbose, Entrepreneurs are So Stubborn, Investors Cost Themselves Money and Leaders Lose Arguments.
But that seemed a little long … so we limited it to just the first one.
Listen to the show (podcast) to hear the whole discussion. Here’s a summary:
Doubt and beliefs
What do you do when you’re confronted with evidence that you may be wrong? There’s a new study by researchers at Northwestern University. It reveals that people who doubt their beliefs don’t shy away from them. In fact, they actually dig in and become even more adamant.
The researchers conducted three separate experiments. In the first two, the participants talked more once confronted with doubt.
Macs and PCs
In the third, they took 106 undergrads who thought Macs were better than PCs. Then the researchers asked half of them to recall a time when they were sure of themselves while asking the other half to remember a time when they doubted themselves.
Next, the students were asked to imagine a conversation designed to convince a PC-user of the value of the Mac. Half of the students were told they were confronting a dedicated PC user while the other half were told they were facing a person who was open-minded.
Not surprisingly, students with a receptive partner put more effort into their argument. We found it interesting, though, that the students who had been primed to doubt themselves were the most verbose.
Why are Mac users so verbose?
Are Mac users more verbose because, deep down, they’re not sure their Mac was worth its price?
We have a lot of friends who use Macs. Doubt is the last thing we hear from them. They say it’s more user-friendly. In some cases, it works better for them because of what they do – like our friend who’s a graphic designer.
Many Mac users are staunch brand advocates. They can cite rational reasons. But some are there for no other reason than … it’s cool. It’s a movement – David taking on Goliath. It seems that, for some Mac users, it’s almost a religion.
Why are entrepreneurs so stubborn?
Entrepreneurs can be just like the Mac users. They form a belief about a product and market.
Hopefully, it’s based on facts and not just intuition. Hopefully, they are making SWAGs (scientific wild ass guesses) rather than just WAGs (wild ass guesses).
We entrepreneurs have to resist the natural urge to automatically defend our positions. As evidence about the marketplace arises, we need to respond accordingly.
It may mean we tweak our business model. Or it may call for bailing and moving on to the next thing.
Why do investors cost themselves money?
Let’s talk about how this study plays out in our investment decisions. According to the book, The Psychology of Investing by John Nofsinger, many investors tend to sell winners too fast and hold losers too long.
It may be that we sell winners to prove ourselves right; we keep losers hoping it turns out that we weren’t wrong. The result is that our portfolios don’t return as much as they could or should.
Why do leaders lose arguments?
As a leader, when you’re dealing with people, realize that verbosity may be a clue you’ve created doubt. They may defend their position with even more enthusiasm.
This research doesn’t say anything about the passing of time. Upon further reflection, the person you’re talking with may be more open. It may not be productive to push your point right now. Give it some time and revisit the issue.
Instincts can be a great thing. However, it always pays to pause to make sure you’re responding to any situation rationally, not emotionally. It leads to BIGG success!
Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file | podcast:
(Image in today's post by immrchris)