Who likes to openly admit that they were wrong? Not many people, although Annie Duke, former professional poker player and author of Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don’t Have All the Facts, finds that being wrong offers opportunities to improve her decisions.
Duke has said that she learns faster when she’s not afraid of being wrong. During her career as a poker player, she realized that most of our decisions are made against a backdrop of uncertainty — sometimes we’ll be wrong because we won’t have all the facts. Embracing our wrong decisions as opportunities to learn helps to make more effective decisions in the future.
Duke’s studies in cognitive psychology and poker playing have given her a unique perspective on probabilistic thinking. After 18 years of focusing on her mistakes and understanding the “why” behind the outcomes, she has added to what she calls “the stuff we know” box. Keeping an open mind and being receptive to ideas from those around us is how we fill this box and use it to our advantage.
So, how do you strengthen the muscles of admitting failure to become a more effective decision maker?