2040’s Ideas and Innovations Newsletter, Issue 65: Behavioral and Inference Data, A 360 Perspective
What You Say Is Very Different From What You Do and How You Act
What we say or how we respond publicly is often very different than what we may feel, believe, like or dislike privately. Let’s consider a hypothetical conversation with a friend. She is proudly wearing a new dress that she just purchased. She asks your opinion as she seeks confirmation if the dress makes her look good. She surely thinks it does. You of course don’t want to hurt her feelings. You express that you really like what she is wearing, even though you think the pattern and color look more like a tablecloth or set of curtains. And this may be even though the style is totally on trend; you just can’t get beyond your first reaction.
Here’s a work-related example. In a discussion with your work team, you are bored with the items being reviewed, and your mind begins to drift off. You then hear your name and call yourself back to attention. Your teammates are asking if you agree with the approach they want to take to solve the problem. You quickly nod your head in agreement, despite not really understanding what the team wants to do. Even though you don’t know what has been discussed, the team members depart the meeting believing there is consensus across the team, including you.
Here’s a third example. You receive a survey request that is offering the opportunity to win a gift certificate if you participate. You always feel lucky and usually respond to offers to potentially get something free for a few minutes of your time. You answer the questions presented in the survey even though you don’t care about or relate to the subject matter.
What these situations have in common is that in each instance you responded with information or an opinion that was what the recipient wanted or prompted you to express. And in each instance, what you shared was counter to your own thoughts and beliefs.