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  • Writer's pictureMichael Gallant

#22 - Dan Ariely on how to prioritize meetings and set apart successes from failures

This is the third out of a 4 episode mini-series. If you haven't checked out the first and second episodes, you're very welcome to do so!

"We usually don’t stop to think about our actions; we make choices automatically rather than deliberately. From this perspective, the current uncertainty might be a gift.
People have a chance to reflect on their life plan and ask if it’s still what they really want, whether that means starting a family, buying a home or choosing a career." -Dan Ariely

Dan Ariely (@danariely) is the modern definition of a renaissance man. He is a Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics at Duke University and founder of the Center for Advanced Hindsight that aims to empower people with the wisdom of behavioral economics. His focus on the reality of how people act in the marketplace vs. how they should or would if only they were more rational, sets him apart from many behavioral scientists of his time.

Dan’s bestselling books include Irrationally Yours, Predictably Irrational, The Upside of Irrationality, The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty, Dollars and Sense and Amazing Decisions. Dan’s writing is driven by the motivation to make research and science more ‘user friendly’ so that people can experience for themselves the thrill of behavioral economics and discover ways this knowledge can benefit their lives.

In his “Ask Ariely” column in the Wall Street Journal, Dan tackles everything from how to manage the uncertainty brought on by the current pandemic to more personal questions of how to establish rituals to get through the painful reality of a break up. His ability to create a safe space for discussing science based arguments as well as more emotionally driven matters of the heart make him a fascinating person to interview.

In today’s episode we dive deeper into:

  • How to set rules and systems to help us decide what meetings to take, and what meetings to deflect.

  • How to know when a project is heading towards success, or failure, or the elusive in between.

  • How to use variance and variety as a tool for better experimentation.

Happy listening!


Stay tuned for our next episode of the mini-series with Dan!

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1 Comment

Jürgen Scherer
Jürgen Scherer
Jul 17, 2020

Another good one, Mikey, episode # 22, No.3 with Dan. I do like the “Public Goods Game”, also known as Red/Blue Game or the Prisoner’s Dilemma. I have played this regularly with cross-funct., cross-reg., cross-cultural teams in business trainings to illustrate the importance of trust in business relationships. And it is very true: good equilibria are fragile, bad equilibria are more stable, there is hardly any middle ground.

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