Want to turn yourself into a life-long innovator? Then it’s important to understand how CONGRUENCE BIAS powerfully lures us into repeating ineffective habits.
Congruence bias is like that one friend who always orders the same thing off the menu. “Why try the spicy pad Thai when I know I love the chicken fried rice?” It’s this kind of thinking that keeps us stuck and blinds us to alternatives.
How can you break out of the congruence bias rut? Try these five tactics:
1) Get comfy with saying, “I don’t know.”
It’s like a secret handshake in the club of lifelong learners. By accepting we’re not walking encyclopedias, we open ourselves up to new, exciting, contradictory views, making it harder for congruence bias to score.
2) Relentlessly practice being open-minded.
Like doing squats for your brain, it means purposefully pushing ourselves to regularly try new things. Read a book that challenges your ideas, chat with folks who think differently, or try pineapple on pizza (yes, some people like that, and it’s okay).
3) Channel your inner Sherlock Holmes.
Continually hone your critical thinking skills. Make it a game. Can you spot the difference between fact and opinion? Can you see a new alternative? This way, we’re not just dodging congruence bias, we’re throwing the ball right back.
4) Build your own handy decision-making toolkit.
Pros and cons lists, decision matrix analysis, magic 8-ball – whatever floats your boat. These tools are like your teammates in the game, ensuring you’re not sidelining important info just because it doesn’t suit your style.
5) Actively seek out people with fresh eyes.
Maybe you’ve got a habit of turning left when you should turn right. A second opinion from a trusted friend or colleague can reveal the insights you’ve stopped seeing.
Beating congruence bias isn’t a once-and-done deal. It’s more like a season-long tournament. But with openness, a bit of curiosity, and the willingness to challenge and be challenged, we can all break out of our own little walled garden.