Why Leadership Training is Pseudoscience

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The Fundamental Attribution Error is one of the most prevalent cognitive mistakes we humans make. Especially in the West.

That’s the name for our tendency to believe that what people do reflects their personality and who they are (overattributing their behaviors to what they do or say) while underattributing the situation or contextual influences.

In other words, we give credit/blame first to people, then to their circumstances — whether or not it if happens to be related.

It’s a well-known thing, studied for over 50 years and the science is firmly established. And it has everything to do with how we approach Leadership and Management.

My question is…who amongst us is paying attention to this when selecting Leadership Training? What Leadership programs demonstrably reduce this error — or any other such known flaws in our HumanOS — and where is the science to back up that claim?

I’ve posted something along these lines once or twice a year someplace. One of these days, I hope to see a real answer.

Until then, I’ll keep looking at every Leadership Training the same way I look at personality types and learning styles. As occupational annoyances that subtly undermine our entire field of Learning & Development.

This is pseudoscience, plain and simple. We can do better.

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