Shift Shapers Podcast

20 Jan 2020

Ep #297: Do Not EVER ‘Trust Your Gut’ – with Gleb Tsipursky

David Saltzman 0 Comments

In this episode of the ShiftShapers Podcast, host and Chief Transformation Strategist David Saltzman sits down with cognitive neuroscientist Gleb Tsipursky to talk about why “trusting your gut” could be the worst business advice you could follow.

Gleb starts with breaking down the SWOT analysis and how this popular business tool actually feeds into cognitive biases and might not be producing the results you thought it would. He also gives tips on how to avoid personal cognitive biases and introduces 5 questions to ask yourself before a sale or another big decision.

What You’ll Learn From this Episode:

  • 02:06 Business advice
  • 05:37 Flaws of the SWOT Analysis
  • 07:58 Bias blind spots
  • 09:39 Dealing with your own cognitive biases
  • 14:14 Measuring probabilities of success
  • 17:11 5 questions to avoid decision disasters


07:02 “The SWOT Analysis involves listing your strengths, your weaknesses, your opportunities, and threats. And the people who are optimistic and overconfident: sales people, sales and so on, tend to list way too many strengths, way too many opportunities, not nearly enough weaknesses, not nearly enough [sic] threats.”

08:56 “The critical thing into bias, which is the practice of addressing dangerous judgment errors known as cognitive biases, is to develop healthy mental habits. So right now, a lot of the mental habits we have are unhealthy. Excessive optimism is a big problem.”

15:30 “There was a study of a thousand eighty-seven board members which fired their chief executive officers and we looked at, asked them, why they fired them. What were the reasons? One of the top five reasons was the nihilism where these leaders were completely denying negative reality about what was happening outside the company and inside their company.”

17:39 “There’s the small short technique that takes you a couple of minutes, you can use it before any sale or an important email to a client or anything like that. There’s another eight-step technique that you want to use for more serious projects, more serious sale, something that’s really important to you and other strategies if you want to lay out your plan.”

18:08 “First, what important information do I not yet fully consider? So what important evidence didn’t you take into account? This is critical because we tend to look for information and believe information with which we’re comfortable. We tend to look for information with a client who’ll agree to a sale. We tend to ignore information that the client is not responding to our emails.”

20:25 “How have you addressed all the ways this sale could fail or whatever project you’re working on? Imagine that the sale completely failed. Completely utterly failed. Now think about all the reasons why it failed. Maybe you haven’t addressed all the client’s concerns. Maybe you missed some of the client’s concerns that you actually could’ve taken a look at.”


Never Go With Your Gut” by Gleb Tsipursky

Listen to the Full Interview:

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