A recent blog by Seth Godin listed the characteristics of people who tend to be exploited by misinformation and deception.
I think it is increasingly important that we recognise any of these weaknesses in ourselves so that we can compensate for them and be more aware of the ever-growing amount of misinformation that is out there, e.g. from Machiavellian politicians (not quite a tautology, but we’re are getting there) and marketeers.
Here’s Seth’s list:
• Believing something because you heard someone say it on a news show on TV
• Being a child (or acting like one)
• Buying penny stocks
• Repeating a mantra heard from a figurehead or leader of a tribe without considering whether it’s true
• Trying to find a shortcut to lose weight, make money or achieve some other long-term goal
• Ignoring the scientific method and embracing unexamined traditional methods instead
• Focusing on (and believing) easily gamed bestseller lists or crowds
• Inability to tolerate fear and uncertainty
• Focus on the present at the expense of the long term
• Allowing the clothes of the messenger (a uniform, a suit and tie, a hat) to influence your perception of the information he delivers (add gender, fame, age and race to this too)
• Reliance on repetition and frequency to decide what’s true
• Desire to stick with previously made decisions because cognitive dissonance is strong
• Inability to ignore sunk costs
• Problem saying ‘no’ in social situations
In bold are the ones that I see most often in clients who struggle to make progress in developing their businesses.
Do you agree with Seth’s list? Any to add?
By the way, Seth is the only blogger I have come across who can send out blog posts every few days and make every one of them readable. If you want to sign up to Seth’s blog, you can do so here.