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How to avoid These 16 Cognitive Bias Traps

“If there’s something you really want to believe, that’s what you should question the most.” 
― Penn Jillette

To efficiently run a business, it’s necessary to think on your feet. You are required to make thousands of decisions and judgment calls daily. And while there is a wealth of information at our fingertips and communicating with colleagues or employees across the country takes only seconds, all this can lead to an information overload.

In order to manage a business productively, we rely on mental shortcuts that allow us to get around this overflow of information. These mental tricks can also help us get around limits in memory, time, or a lack of information. These cognitive biases are necessary to help us make the sheer number of decisions necessary every day.

However, cognitive biases can also lead you to make poor decisions and judgments regarding your business. Because they allow you to make decisions that don’t rely on logic, they can hold you back from doing your best work as a leader.

That’s why it’s important to be aware of the common mental traps that you fall into as a manager of a small business. As your decisions can have a major impact on your bottom line, being more aware of your unconscious biases can help you find more success as a manager.

For example, many people struggle with planning and scheduling projects. It is common for tasks to go out of scope or miss their deadlines.

This is in part due to a cognitive bias called the “Planning Fallacy.” This bias causes you to underestimate the amount of time it will take to complete a task.

However, once you are aware of this tendency, you can plan more time for your assignments than you think you will need and meet your deadlines.

To help you in all your small business decisions, check out this infographic Fundera created on some of the more common biases and how to avoid them:

How to avoid These16 Cognitive Bias Traps