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Time Pressure is an excuse

Maximum transparency helps in case of strategic ignorance





„I don´t need to know this” – how often do we say or hear this sentence, particularly under time pressure and when decisions have to be made. A recent German-British study demonstrates, though: to argue quick, superficial decisions that are more self-serving than useful for the cause with time pressure is just a lame excuse. The researchers have identified much more avoidance of conflict resolution as the key trigger when decision makers do not want to deal with the real issues although helpful information and data would be available. It is simply more challenging to avoid what has to be done when we do know how to solve the respective problems. It is simply more difficult then to execute change, effective change, which might evoke conflicts – with yourself and with others.

The scientists recommend maximum transparency – that´s how to get strategic ignorance under control.

Jarke-Neuert/Lohse, „I´m in a Hurry, I don´t want to know! Strategic ignorance Under Time Pressure”, in: Journal fo Experimental Psychology: General, 151(11), 2833–2845.

From the practice:

Who does not want to be aware of his/her own deficits, will not look for a psychotherapist. Who does not intend to change his/her behavior in the office, will not be interested in new methods of leadership. Who wants to make decisions without changing anything effectively, does not need any information about long-longlasting approaches. But: looking away pays off only in short term – issues are getting bigger over time.

Maximum transparency against strategic ignorance means: 1. Be aware unconditionally about the negative consequences of your alleged quick wins: what does this tell to yourself and what for the involved ones? 2. Do confront these consequences with the benefits, with the advantaqes of sustainable solutions and your respective decisions. 3. And please ask yourself then, whether you still „do not need to know”.

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