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the mystery of ‘getting a seat at the table’

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Get a group of UX folks together for long enough and the conversation seems to turn to the challenge/mystery of “how to get at seat at the table”.

I’m not entirely sure that everyone agrees about which table we’re aiming for but I get the impression it is the table where the occupants tell everyone else what to do (I’m imagining an Apprentice style boardroom here).

Most of us have worked closely enough with people who already have those seats so it is surprising that we still seem baffled about how to get there.

I suspect that simply having an excess of self-confidence (inspite of evidence to the contrary) will get you a long way there. Sometimes that comes with talent and sometimes it doesn’t. So I was interested to read this New Scientist piece about how we influenced by the confidence of others. The focus is advice rather than positions of power but it feels connnected.

The research, by Don Moore of Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, shows that we prefer advice from a confident source, even to the point that we are willing to forgive a poor track record. Moore argues that in competitive situations, this can drive those offering advice to increasingly exaggerate how sure they are. And it spells bad news for scientists who try to be honest about gaps in their knowledge

via Humans prefer cockiness to expertise – life – 10 June 2009 – New Scientist.

Written by Karen

June 17th, 2009 at 6:36 am

Posted in power,psychology,work