Looking For An Unbiased Opinion? Get Over It!

Your boss has set you off on a mission – get the best software you can for the best price you can, and make sure it works!

So how do most people go about tackling that very common problem? They head out in search of a company that can provide them with that elusive product: “the unbiased opinion”.

And there’s the rub. There is no such thing.

Every opinion is based on an assessment of information that the individual comes into contact with. The result is an opinion based on experience. The critical factor is whether you, as the company in search of a solution provider, believe in the recommendation.

Are You Getting X or Y?

Over the years, social psychology experts have noted that people are far more likely to rate a communicator as more “unbiased” when their own expectations are disconfirmed. In other words – you go into a meeting believing the consultant is going to say “X” is the right product. If the consultant says “Y”, there’s a greater likelihood you will believe the company is unbiased. The determining factor then is what you believe going in.

So rather than looking for “unbiased” opinion, what you might want to look for is “informed” opinion. If a company tells you they have worked with 300 clients, and time and time again one or two products have successfully been able to achieve the clients’ goals – then that could be a good fit. If a company has only worked with a handful, then you have some assessing to do.

Critical Thinking Takes You Farther

Equally important is self-analysis. We’ve all seen cases where companies work with the same set of people creating an inner circle where everyone is encouraged to believe the same thing. Sociologists Peter L. Berger and Thomas Luckmann called this the social construction of reality, and it can lead you into the minefield known as “group think”. That’s when real trouble hits. Everyone is looking at the map, and no one saw the truck coming. Talk about being blind-sided.

So here are a few tips. First – fire up your critical thinking machine. Ask yourself: what haven’t you considered. Ask the provider the same question, and then ask the difficult and awkward questions:

  • Can I talk to your clients?
  • Can you detail precisely what makes this product stand out?
  • What problems have you encountered with implementation?
  • What won’t this product do that I might want to consider?
  • What challenges do clients face when transitioning from one product to another?
  • What support can you provide?

Bias may be exactly what you’re looking for.

You just want to make sure the consultant can provide you with a 360-degree examination of your needs. The last thing you want is a product that ignores your own blind spot.

Related Posts: