Emotional intelligence, self-awareness and commitment to understanding others are traits of a good leader. These leaders make sound decisions based on the best available data. But what if the natural automatic workings of the mind interfere with these traits? The research of Daniel Kahneman, a psychologist and 2002 Nobel Prize winner in economics, provides useful insights to avoid cognitive traps to strengthen decision-making.

Kahneman’s best-selling book, “Thinking Fast and Slow,” provides a simple model describing two systems of the brain. Fast-thinking is impulsive, automatic and intuitive. Slow-thinking is thoughtful, deliberate and deeply analytical. The legacy of human evolution had inherent survival advantages. Fast-thinking allowed humans to take rapid action without need for in-depth thinking. Slow-thinking activates when the mind faces a situation it can’t automatically comprehend and involves conscious mental activities such as self-control, choice and deliberate focused attention. You can improve strategic decision-making and increase self-awareness by appreciation for and avoidance of, fast-thinking cognitive traps, a number of which we discuss herein.

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Stuart Levine


Credit Union Times

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