Dialogue is great, but sometimes people start to take on the conclusions of the most charismatic or experienced person in the room, even if conclusions are flawed. Here’s how to overcome the subconscious bias of The Halo Effect.
At VitalSmarts, we talk a lot about the importance of a safe environment for crucial conversations. But sometimes, safety’s not enough to make the crucial conversation a success. Even situations where mutual respect and mutual purpose abound, conversations can still fail because of an interesting phenomenon called The Halo Effect.
If we’re honest, we’ve all let someone down and we’ve all been let down. But when it happens at work, it becomes more than a disappointment — it becomes an issue of job performance. And the best way to solve the problem is to look at the causes — the big WHY behind a behaviour. We group these causes into what we call The Six Sources of Influence.
Mutuality isn’t all about the other person. It’s about you, too. For people who know the literal definition of mutual, this may not seem like great insight. But for me, it makes a big difference.
Usually when we think about finding mutual respect and mutual purpose for creating a healthy conversation, we focus solely on the other person and their goals, but this is too one-sided. The most important part of mutuality is missing. We need to care about ourselves and our own goals as well if we want a healthy relationship.
From Emily Hoffman: After 10 years at VitalSmarts, I discovered a secret: Crucial Conversations skills don’t always work. At least, they don’t always work the way we think they should. But they still work. These skills bring you to a solution, even if it’s not the solution you were originally hoping for. After struggling through marriage and divorce, I’ve learned just how powerful and positive these skills can be.