Thursday, 8 May 2014

Don't underestimate yourself

You may have read about the ‘Dunning Kruger Effect’ which outlines why incompetent people do not realise they are incompetent. Guess we could all think of a few people we've worked with that would fit into this theory.

There is however another scenario, the ‘Worse than Average Effect’. The idea here is that when we are good at something we assume other people are good at it too. We don’t give ourselves the credit for being particularly good at complex tasks and can even assume that loads of other people are probably better than we are.

A study from J Kruger found that we can underestimate our ability  for something difficult like playing chess, telling jokes or computer programming. At the same time we overestimate our ability at seemingly easier tasks like using a mouse or riding a bike.

The take away here is that when it comes to staff self reporting their ability on tasks or project work, take into account a possible tendency to underestimate how good they may be at the more complex items such as system design or process management and over estimate how good they are easier tasks like logging time records, drafting project plans, organising meetings. 

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