Tuesday, January 13, 2009

We're all above average and do more than our share.

I've often talked about the fact that 80% of drivers think their in the top 30%, and everyone thinks their kid is above average. Apparently there is a technical term for this. It's called unconcious overclaiming (hattip to: Gretchen Rubin). Basically everyone overestimates their own contributions and underestimates others.

In Gretchen's post she brings up the fact that overclaiming leads to resentment. What an obvious, but valuable insight. If you think you're carrying the load you tend to resent others contributions. Just imagine the implications this has on tax policy, or even your relationships with a significant other.

What's the solution? Perhaps, it is a greater sense of humility and grace towards others contributions.

Often overclaiming is merely a matter of ego and wanting to take credit for something. But, how often does the desire to take credit get in the way of getting something accomplished.

Benjamin Franklin said one of the most important lessons he learned was that you can get a lot more accomplished if you let others take the credit. Make you wonder if that had something to do with how he was able to start a fire station, build a hospital, found a university, create the first US library and is considered a founding father of the US (not to mention the rest of his accomplishments).

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