Today’s episode is all about fundamental attribution error. Why is this the Tuesday Refresh? Well, when contributing editor to the Harvard Business Review, Amy Gallo, is on the show this coming Friday to discuss her book Getting Along: How to Work With Anyone (Even Difficult People) we specifically talk about this concept in detail. Also, upon review, this episode first aired on March 20, 2020…something tells me it hasn’t gotten as many listens as it deserves – ha! It is so prevalent in every interaction at work, that this all made it an easy choice for being today’s episode.
The episode explains what fundamental attribution error is and how you experience it every single day at work and in your personal life. In essence, it is when we give ourselves the benefit of the doubt…but don’t give that same benefit to others.
This happens because we humans are very tribal by nature. Our brains are constantly sorting people into “us” and “them” categories. When we have people in the “us” world (yourself, your significant other, your family, your best friend, or favorite colleague) they get treated differently than those in a “them” category (people who don’t look or sound like you, people in a different department that is always at odds with your own, that person who made you feel dumb at the meeting six years ago). Even if you don’t want it to be a factor, it is. Our brains do this, and it is important to understand the bias and how it impacts our behavior (and those around us) so we can properly leverage it — because avoiding it doesn’t work.
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