Your Rigid Thinking May Block Conference Improvements

It's a trap!

Did you learn how to ride a bicycle as a kid?

We often say, “Well, it’s just like riding a bicycle. Once you learn how, you’ll never forget.”

But what if you had to forget everything you learned about riding a bicycle? What if you had to unlearn and start over? Could you learn, unlearn and relearn how to ride a bicycle?

Your Cognitive Bias Equals Rigid Thinking

You probably said yes, that you could learn, unlearn and relearn how to ride a bicycle.

And therein lies your biggest challenge. It’s much more difficult than you believe. You own experience and thinking has become your cognitive bias and can block your future success.

As you’ll see in a second, your thinking and experience becomes your barrier. It takes a great deal of work to change that way of thinking. You’ve wired your brain to believe it is the only way to do something.

When it comes to conference improvements, many of us only know one way to do things. And that’s the way we’ve always done it. We believe that is the best way to plan and implement conferences.

That’s our bias. And our challenge.

We have to be careful of how we interpret our planning process, implementation and results.

Why do we need to use caution? Because we are looking at our conference world with a bias. Even when we think we aren’t.

It’s Like Riding A Bike

What if the way a bicycle worked changed?

Then you would have a very difficult time unlearning and relearning how to ride a bicycle.

If you missed this video on YouTube or Facebook, take eight minutes and watch it now. It’s a gem!

Three Big Takeaways About Bicycles, Thinking And Conference Planning

Destin, an engineer, explorer and videographer of SmarterEveryday, re-engineered a bike. When you turned the handlebars to the left, it went to the right. When you turned the handlebars to the right, it went to the left.

Now that would mess you up! It wouldn’t be just like riding a bike. You’d have great difficulty riding it successfully.

Here are three take ways that we should consider in light of our conference and meeting profession.

1. Knowledge Does Not Equal Understanding

People who tried to ride the re-engineered bike failed. Their knowledge of how the bike worked did not mean they had an understanding of how to operate it. They knew that turning the handlebar to the right would turn the bike to the left. But they didn’t really understand how to effectively use that bike.

When planning conference education, knowledge of a specific topic or issue does not equal understanding. It is only when we understand the issue or topic can we customize it for our situation.

This applies to our own practice of planning events as well as how we plan our conference education sessions. We need design education that offers understanding for our attendees, not just knowledge transfer.

2. Truth Is Truth Regardless How I Think About It

Too may conference professionals believe they know how to plan and implement successful conferences. And they think they know how to interpret their own conference data. The truth is that our beliefs are our cognitive bias. We’ve got to learn multiple ways to plan, implement and interpret conferences.

Truth is truth regardless of how I think about it. And my interpretation of success is biased.

3. Our Rigid Way Of Thinking Is Actually Our Barrier

Our past experience and thoughts of what works and what doesn’t work becomes our biggest barrier. It is very difficult to change our thinking! Even if we want to. We have to work hard and practice new ways of thinking and doing things.

What are your takeaways from Destin’s video? How have you tackled your own cognitive bias in the past?

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1 comment
  1. thom singer says:

    “truth is truth no matter what I think about it”…… Dang, that is more powerful than you may have even known when you wrote it down…… and has so many applications for events.

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