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How to Make More Rational Decisions at Work

The mind plays tricks on us. But worry not: There are ways to turn the tables on these hidden influences

Like it or not, we are all putty in the hands of emotional and behavioural forces that are largely beyond our awareness. These forces constantly shape our perceptions of interactions and the decisions we make, both at work and at home.

Examples abound: We misinterpret even common information such as a smile from a boss. We see what we’re looking for, yet miss important social cues. We overapply mental shortcuts in the interest of making a deadline. We gravitate to those like us and, as a result, stay trapped in unhelpful echo chambers.

But we can learn to do better.

In this webinar, Laura Rees, assistant professor of organizational behaviour at Smith School of Business explores how emotions affect our decisions at work. Professor Rees challenges participants to question how rational and bias-free their decisions and actions really are. She shares key findings that researchers have discovered about the pitfalls that lead to misperceptions and poor decisions. And she shows how we can all recognize and take charge of our assumptions and behaviours to build more honest workplace relationships and make better decisions. This webinar was recorded on Thursday, February 18, 2021.

Participants learn: 

• Common emotional, behavioural and cognitive forces that shape our perceptions at work

• How these forces can create feedback loops that are often outside our conscious awareness

• Common effects of these forces and feedback loops on colleagues, not just ourselves

• Techniques to recognize, mitigate and leverage hidden influences

Following the presentation, there is a Q&A with our speaker.

Session Leader

Laura Rees

Dr. Laura Rees

Assistant Professor of Organizational Behaviour
Laura Rees studies emotions and related cognitive and interpersonal influences that often arise spontaneously and without much conscious thought, but that profoundly shape a person’s decision-making, negotiations, performance and well-being at work. Her research has been published in many major academic journals. Before her academic career, she was a consultant for The Boston Consulting Group, where she focused on clients in the retail and consumer packaged goods industries.