Why rational arguments fail (and what you should be doing instead)

A great illustration for rational arguments can be found in the dying minutes of a World Cup soccer final – imagine you’re selected to kick for goal in a penalty shootout to decide the game. Where do you aim? Left? Right? Or the centre? Before you decide let’s look at the facts. 

Statistical data tell us that if you kick the ball to the left, the goalie will jump to his right, thus blocking your shot, 57 per cent of the time. If you kick the ball to the right, the goalie will be there 41 per cent of the time. But, if you choose to kick it to the centre, the same stats show that the goalie will only be there 2 per cent of the time. So where do you kick the ball? The centre, where the odds are clearly in you favour? Most don’t, with only 17 per cent of penalty goals kicked to the centre. In business we have to choose where to kick the ball. But, even when we’re armed with the facts we don’t always follow rational arguments.

Presenter: Bri Williams CPA, Principal Consultant, People Patterns

Recorded at CPA Australia Congress, 29 September 2014 in Sydney, NSW.

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