in Food for Thought

Consistently mistaking confidence for competence

There’s research on what’s called the Babble Effect, which is the idea that the more you talk in a meeting, the more likely you are to get selected as the leader of a team. So we reward people who dominate the conversation, even though they are not actually better at leadership. Often they’re worse, because they fail to include and learn from the voices around them in the room. They’re so obsessed with being the smartest person in the room that they fail to make the room smarter. And I think what happens there is we’re consistently mistaking their confidence for competence.

Adam Grant