It’s time to ditch your common sense!

The problem with common sense is that it isn’t really common at all! It’s drawn from our own individual personal experiences and, as such, is as different as our own lives.

A topic I’ve written about before:

I work with leaders of businesses who regularly say ‘why didn’t they‘ (when referring to their latest ‘eejit employee’) just use their common sense?’ to which I often reply ‘you mean, why didn’t they do it the way you would have done it?’

This tends to then lead to an interesting discussion about common sense versus scientific knowledge.

  • No special effort is required to obtain common sense! Scientific knowledge requires a bit of effort!
  • Common sense makes sense to the individual. Science goes beyond the individual to look at what is applicable across all situations.
  • Commons sense states ‘of course’ while science asks ‘why’ (the common sense person always has an answer!)
  • Common sense is vague; science is precise.
  • Common sense cannot be counted on to produce consistent results; science can yield the same results every time.

This last point is the most interesting.

We compel all leaders and managers to ditch their common sense and seek the scientific explanation to problems involving human performance.

When you ditch common sense and apply the science, you can expect to achieve a 40% – 70% improvement in performance.

If you’re a leader, why wouldn’t you want that?




Lisa Collinson is a highly experienced HR professional, behaviourist and consultant that has held board positions and works throughout the UK, Europe and Internationally.  An accredited coach and popular speaker and presenter, she has an ability to motivate teams and audiences, large and small. Her down-to-earth approach ensures others can apply the lessons she delivers, ensuring a real return on the investment of time and money on people interventions. She has a keen interest in measurement and metrics which includes measuring the impact of her consulting interventions. Her experience ensures she understands the current challenges facing businesses.