A fascinating journey into the hidden psychological influences that derail our decision-making, Sway will change the way you think about the way you think. Why is it so difficult to sell a plummeting stock or end a doomed relationship? In Sway , renowned organizational thinker Ori Brafman and his brother, psychologist Rom Brafman, answer all these questions and more. Every once in a while, a book comes along that not only challenges our views of the world but changes the way we think. In Sway, Ori and Rom Brafman not only uncover rational explanations for a wide variety of irrational behaviors but also point readers toward ways to avoid succumbing to their pull.
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The book was written by two Israeli-born brothers, Ori Brafman, a serial entrepreneur and organizational behavior expert, and Rom Brafman, a practicing psychologist. They use dramatic narratives like the story of an accomplished pilot who made a seemingly irrational decision that sent passengers and him to their deaths or the Washington subway passengers who ignored the performance of a virtuoso violinist because they perceived him as a street musician.
I spoke to them about how these phenomena play out at work and how we can outsmart them. Below is an edited and condensed version of those conversations:. ORI That is a good question.
When I first saw this research, I kept trying to poke holes in it. But the research we wrote about was based on 20 years of analysis of almost every psychological study done on interviews.
Time and again, the research shows that interviews are poor predictors of job performance because we tend to hire people we think are similar to us rather than those who are objectively going to do a good job. So in your eyes what makes for a good interview process? ROM The idea is to remove from the equation anything that will sway you one way or the other. Asking people about their strengths and weaknesses does not really give you the information to make a good hiring decision.
ORI We wanted to hire a guy to do our public relations and for the first time, I decided to try a really structured method for hiring someone.
So I focused on results. Has he done the kind of work I wanted and did he do it well? I have made so many decisions based on whether I really hit it off with someone and in the end I know I was swayed by the first impression. ORI The evidence is that I should still hire him. Luckily, I like him. You write about research that shows the importance of first impressions and how the qualities we initially attribute to someone can stick despite evidence contradicting that initial impression.
How can we use that to our advantage in work situations? ORI I have this friend who is a lawyer and in the first two to three weeks of his job, he made sure to create the impression that he was a hard worker. He was the first in and the last to leave.
He barely got up to use the bathroom. So what about the other side of this? How can we be sure that we are remaining open to new facts and not mired in our initial assessment of someone? ORI Part of it is just being aware. How has he been performing over the years? And take some time to observe and think it over. So is this where the concept of the degree review comes from? So we ask everyone to compile some objective data.
What if you feel that you have been improperly pegged. Do you have any suggestions for how to rehabilitate your reputation? ORI This happens all the time. Say you started out very junior somewhere. Even if you have risen up the ranks, you might find that the only way to break out of the mold is by starting somewhere new.
Another strategy is to try to make people aware. You can say something like: I know your initial impression was this, but can we do a degree review of my performance in the last year?
The problem is that if someone has been labeled a poor performer, it is really hard to break out of that. People are very likely to only notice data that supports their perceptions. So leaving is sometimes the only option. You write about a survey of venture capitalists that suggests that entrepreneurs who keep their investors well-informed create strong relationships even if their financial performance is disappointing. ORI Absolutely.
But how many times the entrepreneur picked up the phone made a big difference. For the venture capitalist, it gave a sense of being heard, feeling a part of the process. But if the manager makes the person part of the process by outlining his concerns, the employee becomes more accepting. Below is an edited and condensed version of those conversations: Q. Home Page World U.
Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior
Has there been time we felt we were at the receiving end of irrationality? Or, we were the illogical ones? This book seeks to explore several psychological forces that derail rational thinking, the sway , that subconsciously align our behavior with the definitions. The word loss alone elicits a surprisingly powerful reaction on us. Various studies have been conducted on to test the hypothesis of loss aversion.
SWAY- The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior by Ori Brafman & Rom Brafman
Look Inside. A fascinating journey into the hidden psychological influences that derail our decision-making, Sway will change the way you think about the way you think. Why is it so difficult to sell a plummeting stock or end a doomed relationship? In Sway , renowned organizational thinker Ori Brafman and his brother, psychologist Rom Brafman, answer all these questions and more. Every once in a while, a book comes along that not only challenges our views of the world but changes the way we think. In Sway, Ori and Rom Brafman not only uncover rational explanations for a wide variety of irrational behaviors but also point readers toward ways to avoid succumbing to their pull. Ori Brafman is coauthor of The Starfish and the Spider and is a renowned organizational expert who regularly speaks before… More about Ori Brafman.