The Coaching Effect Blog

Leave your ego at the door.

Posted by Kristi Shoemaker

October 12, 2011

The study, "The Detrimental Effects of Power on Confidence, Advice Taking and Accuracy," was conducted by management professors Kelly E. See and Elizabeth W. Morrisonat New York University Stern School of Business, along with co-authors from Naomi B. Rothman of Lehigh University and Jack B. Soll of Duke University. It is to be published in the November edition of the journal "Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes."

The authors found that the more power the employees had, the less likely they were to take coworkers' advice. The reason: Powerful individuals held inflated confidence in their own judgments, which led them to discount even good advice from others. They tended to feel they were right, they were more accurate and they felt less need for taking others' advice—even if they were, in fact, wrong.

The researchers also found, in two of the four studies, that women were more likely to take others' advice than men.

Incorporating advice from others can improve decision-making as a whole. Powerful decision makers who discounted the advice of others were less accurate in their final judgments than they would have been if they had taken some of the advice offered to them, the researchers found.

The bottom line for managers: Don't tune out others' advice if you want to make the most precise decisions. Being a strong leader does not mean that you yourself know the right answer all the time. It means you know where to obtain good information and advice and incorporate that into your own judgment to make the right decision.


How do you keep your ego in check? Share your collaborative leadership best practices on how you encourage your team to share their ideas with you and each other.



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