Confirmation bias is when a person seeks out new information to reinforce existing beliefs or theories, and good leaders would do well to avoid the practice. Instead, they should encourage their teams to challenge them, according to a recent posting with Suzi McAlpine’s “The Art of Leadership Blog.”

McAlpine writes that confirmation bias is bad for leaders, particularly when they place too much weight on early evidence.

“By accepting early information, we risk creating a bias which affects our view of any later evidence,” the Aug. 18,2020 blog posting notes. “The result is that we can end up with a skewed assessment.”

That is where having your team challenge your thinking regularly can help.

“Make it safe for those you lead to disagree with you,” McAlpine recommends. “Seek counsel from those who you respect and who respect you enough to tell you how it really is, even when you don’t really want to hear what they have to say.”

The full blog posting is “Beware this decision-making flaw,” and it can be accessed at this link.