1. The input is from someone whom they do not see as their peer or equal in terms of success; therefore, it doesn't really count.
2. They view input that is inconsistent with their self-image to be "incorrect" and so they view the whistle-blower as "confused."
3. They will reluctantly agree
there is truth in the feedback, but they conclude it must be minor trouble because they are
As a result of this wall of denial, feedback is not the most effective strategy with a successful person. If you find yourself shutting down to the comments of others, compel yourself to allow it. You just might see some startled and happy faces.
Isn't Confidence A Good Thing?
Confidence is a great thing. If you had to have brain surgery, you definitely want the bone saw in the hands of a confident surgeon. But there's a huge and sometimes dangerous difference between confidence and overconfidence. Would you choose to hire an overconfident skydiving instructor or financial advisor? If you are one of these overconfident people who skips over his or her flaws (because you view them as inconsequential) and consistently rate your performance as stellar (without ever acknowledging the critical support from others or the luck that might have sweetened your choices), here are just a few of the ways you could be undermining your own business with overconfidence:
1. You are less open to the varied opinion of other experts (stunting your own learning), including your own appointed group of top-end teammates. This breeds an environment of dead-enders — creative hard-working employees with no real outlet to pursue their own professional growth. Next stop, Turnover Town!
2. You are doomed (yes, doomed) to become a purely linear thinker — a disc stuck on repeat. Today's mistake is tomorrow's mistake.
3. Valuing your judgment as outstanding and others as only average, you may have elaborate procedures and checks in place to prevent a $10,000 mistake being made but absolutely nothing in practice to keep you from making a $100,000 mistake.
The Memorable Hot Hand, The Unforgettable Bad Decision
We are not perfectly logical machines — our thinking can be muddied, our choices biased and our management decisions emotionally driven. We are human after all. Confidence creeps in where it might not belong, taking the reason out of our reasoning on the job. We're familiar with the notion of the "the hot hand" from sports broadcasts — especially college and professional basketball games. There we see fans excitedly, and often incorrectly, scream for one particular streaking player to take the important shot because he has been "hot." In a famous study by Gilovich, Vallone and Tversky (1985), it was conclusively shown that each shot is an independent event. After analyzing a season's worth of shooting for NBA and college basketball teams to determine if streaks occur more often than expected by chance, they found for each individual player, the proportion of shots hit was unrelated to how many previous shots in a row he had either hit or missed. That same "event independence" was also found for free throws.