How do we Sway Irrational Actions with Rational Frameworks? December 6, 2009Posted by Alison Zander in Sway: Pull of Irrational Behavior.
Sway was an interesting book about leadership and change. It is a good book to pick up at the airport. It was full of fun stories, many of which were based in research. The examples used ranged from huge life or death situations to smaller grocery shopping decisions. I think the book did a good job at showing the large impact irrational decisions can have while also giving examples of relatable situations. It was very interesting to hear about the irrational decisions that are made every day. It also highlighted that anyone can act irrationally. It doesn’t matter what level of the organization you are at or what level of expertise you have, we are all susceptible to making irrational choices. I wish the book would have done a better job of outlining how to overcome these irrational tendencies, but now that I am more aware of this type of behavior I will be able to recognize it in the future.
I encourage people to experiment with calling out when they are seeing irrational behavior. Many times we don’t realize when we, ourselves are being irrational. Awareness might help all of us be less irrational, or it may just end in conflict – it is tough to tell. This book made me think about the times when I myself have acted irrationally. As MBAs we try to see the world in a rational manner and are taught to make choices within this framework. I wonder if we assumed people were swayed to be irrational if we would come up with different conclusions…