Our brains have evolved to be particularly attuned to negative events rather than positive ones, a phenomenon known as the negativity bias. While this bias has served to keep us safe from harm in the past, it can be detrimental in the workplace.
The bias can lead us to give more weight to negative events than to positive ones, even when they are equal in intensity. Additionally, the bias operates automatically and below our conscious awareness, so we may not even be aware of its influence on our decisions.
If you’re about to make a change in your business, based on something “bad” that has happened, take the time to reflect and learn if this change is truly necessary.
Research suggests that the ratio of good to bad needs to be about 5:1 for things to even out!
To avoid the pitfalls of the negativity bias, we need to recognize that it exists, use data to put events and information into context, and check our math before making a decision. By doing so, we can ensure that our decisions are based on facts rather than on our bias.