Few years back I heard someone giving this interesting advice to one of my friend who was getting in to his first job.
He called it “The 5 Decision Rule.” The rule was simple.
Here’s what he said:
“If you get the first 5 major decisions right, no one will ever question your decisions again. They’ll simply assume you made good decisions and give you the benefit of the doubt from that point forward.”
My friend was quick to apply his advice. He built a good career in the business world.
Whether that person who gave this advice knew it or not, this “5 Decision Rule” is based on real psychology and science called confirmation bias.
In simple psychological terms, here’s what it is:
Confirmation bias means favoring information that confirms your previously held beliefs or biases.
When people like a certain idea/concept to be true, they end up believing it to be true.
They are motivated by wishful thinking. This error leads the individual to stop gathering further information when the evidence gathered so far confirms the views (prejudices) one would like to be true.
APPLYING CONFIRMATION BIAS :
In practical business terms, if you quickly establish yourself as credible through just a few good decisions in a row, a few good first impressions, or any other set of positive interactions, you would be establishing a positive confirmation bias.
The key is that early and first interactions matter a lot, so make them good ones. We’ve all heard about the power of first impressions. Confirmation bias is the science behind it, once people form a positive initial impression about you, they would like to be consistent with it and would believe it for the rest of life in case you don’t make a blunder.