Understanding behavioural psychology is vital in all things about life. It is even more vital in areas that require systematic approaches such as business and entrepreneurship. You do not necessarily need to become a psychologist to grasp some of the fundamentals. You can have a basic appreciation which will guide you in keeping your behaviour in check. Today my subject is behavioural psychology insights you must know in business. There is so much to talk about regarding behavioural psychology but I shall only cover a few insights. The thrust is to help you become aware of or avoid certain pitfalls.
In business or entrepreneurship, working in or as groups or teams is commonplace. If this is not happening then that signals something is wrong somehow. Collaboration or teamwork is essential to producing good results and must be cultivated. However, there is a possible pitfall that you must be careful of. In groups there tends to be a strong pursuit to get consensus. If this is not handled properly it can lead to irrational thinking or irrational compromise. This can happen because someone or people are trying to avoid tension or incoherence. This means even if one or some have the best input or submissions, they might retreat just so the group reaches a consensus. The irony of this is that often time the best decisions or inputs are seldom the popular ones. Thus group thinking can cause more harm than good at times. In navigating group, dynamics be careful of this pitfall.
People tend to do the opposite of what they are told. This is especially so when what they are told to do has a bearing on their freedom. Knowing this is important in that it makes you aware of human behaviour. It helps you figure out witty ways to get people to do what they ought to do. It is due to reactance that employees tend to slack when repeatedly hammered about getting things done. The human consciousness is hypersensitive to any infringement or seeming infringement on freedom. If someone feels that their freedom is being threatened or disturbed somehow, they do the opposite. Thus in dealing with employees be wary of the reactance effect. The same applies in marketing, constantly hammering customers with ‘buy our products or services’ content provokes reactance. Be smart and inspire rather than demand or force action. If you do not, then know that reactance will humble you.
Fundamental Attribution Error
This is one’s tendency to judge others based on their personality (or what you think their personality is) yet judge oneself based on the current situation. This means when interpreting other people’s behaviour you attribute it to a feature of their personality. Yet when you do probably the same thing you excuse it on some situation, scenario or circumstance. For example, let us say someone fails to deliver or do something in time, you can conclude that to being lazy, incompetent, or unreliable. Yet if you were to do the same you would excuse it on, for instance, there were unforeseen circumstances. This leads to toxicity in workplaces, business partnerships, and the like.
This is one’s affinity to rely on examples that immediately come to mind when trying to make a decision or assessment. What this means is that people tend to premise their decisions on recent bases. Let us suppose you recently watched a show or movie that relates to the situation at hand you most likely will handle it premised on that. It could be that maybe you recently had a chat with someone and what you discussed relates to the situation at hand. In trying to make a decision or assessment you will tend to base it on that chat.
This is a trap that most people find themselves in and in business, you must be careful. Most decisions require you to consider lots of variables spanning different timelines and sources. You need to take your time exploring all possible angles so that you do not fall prey to this trap. Do not be in a rush to make decisions because if wrong, in due course making amends might be too late or costly.
These are the 4 behavioural psychology insights for you to digest today. By paying attention to them from now you will realize there are some changes you have to make. These are changes starting from your personal life right up to how you interact with other people.