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    Olesya Luraschi.

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Why We Can't See Our Own Mistakes

We all make mistakes.

But what happens if we don't own up to our mistakes and accept responsibility for them?

The social psychologists, Carol Tavris and Elliot Aronson's book "Mistakes Were Made (But Not By Me)" address this issue.

The concept of cognitive dissonance is often the root cause of why we make mistakes, and why we don't see these mistakes.

Cognitive dissonance is the mental discomfort or tension that results from having two or more beliefs or values that are incompatible with one another.

This can result in a vicious cycle of self-justification and a failure to acknowledge and improve upon one's mistakes.

People may act in a variety of ways to lessen this discomfort, such as looking for information that supports their preexisting ideas and avoiding or dismissing material that challenges them.

Cognitive dissonance can result in bad decisions and expensive errors in the corporate environment.

Yet, because cognitive dissonance is often breached quickly in our minds as a way to overcome mental discomfort we are often blind to it.

How can we overcome this and avoid mistakes?

The best strategy to elucidate problematic cognitive dissonance is to be receptive to criticism and feedback.

It's critical to look for evidence that contradicts our preconceived notions in order to avoid falling into the self-justification trap.

It's also crucial to develop a growth attitude and the willingness to learn from our errors.

The less we moralize about making mistakes and accept that they are part of being human the more we can open up to feedback and make better decisions in the future.