Where are you dropping your anchor?

Sat, Apr 10, 2021 2-minute read

Where are you dropping your anchor?

Anchoring is the cognitive tendency to rely on and make decisions off the first piece of information we collect or are given on an idea, person, or thing.

We are vulnerable to anchoring.

We anchor ourselves and others.

Anchors can be positive or negative. A positive anchor could be something as simple as saying a person is awesome. A negative anchor can be saying someone isn’t smart. We see anchoring every day while shopping. Sales, where the original price is shown with the lower price, is a great example of anchoring. The store is setting the anchor at the original price, then showing how much cheaper the item is with the sale price.

As leaders need to be careful where, when, and how we anchor.

For example, I had a team lead try to negatively anchor their negative opinion of a peer on me. I was brushed off their opinion because I had not met this other person.

The next day I had a couple of minutes at the beginning of a meeting to talk with the negatively anchored person. I noticed after a minute I was leaning toward the anchor set by the team lead, even though I didn’t have appropriate information to support the anchor. Now I have an uphill battle to undo the negative anchor and learn about the other person.

As parents, friends, leaders, significant others, we want to take care in how we anchor our thoughts and opinions on others, especially in regards to other people.