What if you’re wrong? Few ask themselves that question. Most see the negative side of rethinking what we believe to be true. Indecisive as CEO vs. listening to valuable employee feedback. Flip flopper in politics vs. ability to learn new things for your constituents. Wishy-washy in personal relationships vs. personal growth.  

When it comes to decisions determine how to best run your appraisal firm or appraisal department, it often comes down to the HIPPO (highest paid person’s opinion) in the room. It pays to evolve all your people who can change their minds faster, which results in making better decisions. So why is it important that we make better decisions? 

Are we experts in a world that doesn’t exist any more 

In Neil deGrasse Tyson’s Master Class, the goal is to teach you how to think. Train your mind how to see the world differently, to question what others say. Turn knowledge into wisdom. He discusses the concepts of inquiry, skepticism and cognitive bias. “It’s not good enough to be right, you also have to be effective.” 

Neil is talking about critical thinking which includes analysis, interpretation, inference, explanation, self-regulation, open-mindedness and problem-solving. Let’s focus on the open-mindedness. 

“One the great challenges in this world is knowing enough about a subject to think you’re right, but not enough about the subject to know your wrong.” Neil deGrasse Tyson 

Commercial Fee Appraisers 

Things you think are correct (and will never change) 

  1. Report writing software never works the way you want it 
  1. Template driven appraisals = robotic poor quality reports 
  1. Getting everyone in the office on board will never work 
  1. Why should appraisers do any sales and marketing? 
  1. Why would I collaborate with my employees? 

Bank Appraisal Department 

Things you think are correct (and will never change) 

  1. Changing our appraisal and environmental workflow platform will be too disruptive 
  1. We will never get custom configuration that we need to best run our department 
  1. I don’t want to make a mistake, so let’s not investigate alternative platforms 
  1. Data conversion from an old system to a new platform is impossible 
  1. Customer service is the same with all the platform providers 

Ask and you will receive 

So how do you know that the above statements may not be true? By asking questions. The easiest source of the truth is to ask peers you trust. Ask them simple open-ended questions. For commercial fee appraisers, “How has Datacomp Suite impacted your appraisal firm’s productivity?” For those in bank appraisal departments, “Why did you choose to go with YouConnect? How has it impacted your department’s productivity?” 

I would talk to many references to get a clear understanding to know the truth and not just to think one way or the other. Ask real life questions, “If you were me, should I implement this software solution? If not, why? What do you recommend?” Seek the best solution for you and your people. 

Those in the valuation vertical are very analytical, we tend to get bogged down in research. Don’t forget to think for yourself, the most powerful tool. Analysis paralysis typically ends in inaction. Kicking the can down the road. Regret can also happen when nothing happens. Overcome the fear of making the wrong choice for any solution.  

Don’t double down on wrongness 

The goal is forward momentum and improvement. Teach your people it’s okay to change their mind, yourself included. Recognize how important it is as a leader to communicate that you’ve changed your mind on something. Never ever double down on wrongness. Be like Neil, work hard to always discern objective truths. Be open to rethinking. 

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