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Archive for April, 2017

The Downside of Negativity Bias and Other Patterns

My 14-year-old son has started to use the phrase, “triggered” while we are watching a program on television. He is referring to an irrational response a character has due to a past event. Or sometimes, quite often actually, he directs this expression directly at me, his father, when I respond in a way he finds irrational.

This made me think about how past encounters with clients and other participants in a transaction or project may affect our current perceptions and behavior. When you stop to think about this statement, it may not be an “A-ha” moment, but one that definitely feels familiar. I raise this issue because, while it may be obvious, we find ourselves being blindsided by this phenomenon at times and it’s easy to see how it can play out with other relationships in business settings.

One of the clearest examples of a trigger that I can recall involves an intermediary who was providing information for several different transactions. The information for one of the transactions was