Losing hurts. Not only does it hurt us to lose, but apparently it hits us with twice the weight as would a victory! It’s true, did you know that?
In 2002, Dr. Daniel Kahneman (a psychologist by trade) won the Nobel Prize in Economics for a study on judgment and decision-making that included our (humanus erectus) skewed perception regarding winning and losing.
Spoiler Alert: We’re really not doing ourselves any favors.
The good Doctor found that losses carry twice the psychological impact as wins. A sad state of affairs, but it’s all part of our primitive hard-wiring.
Now consider how this tendency might further complicate our ability to effectively manage change. When change hits (and it does “hit” quite often), our immediate reaction is to go into defense mode. While we are deliberating the terrible things ahead, we are also fabricating “losses” with which we will certainly contend (insert *wink* here). While this instinct has served us well as a species in terms of survival, it creates a huge obstacle for us when dealing with change at the workplace.
If you ever wondered where the term “self-fulfilling prophecy” applied, this is it – the potential “losses,” if not dismissed with a different mindset, will become “a magnet…guided by our intention” (Pritchett, Hacking Uncertainty; 2012). That’s right, Ty Webb had it spot-on.
The wise man learns to allow the option of “winning” into the equation…(but remember to multiply it by 2.)