How Managers can Overcome Bias | Extraordinary Business
“The Eyes are the Windows to the Soul” quote is often used when referring to the true feelings of a person rather than what they are projecting through their words or body language. I would also take this quote one step further and suggest that those “windows” are not only powerful for seeing into another person, but very powerful in how that person sees the world around them, projecting as bias.
Biases exist within all of us and cause us to feel or show inclination or prejudice towards or against someone or something. Our biases flow outwardly through the windows of our soul and touch everything we come into contact with. Mark Tarallo wrote an article titled, “How Managers Can Overcome Their Personal Biases” to discuss the importance of being able to manage yourself well before leading other people. He explains that bias can come in many forms including Personal Bias (an internal feeling), Similarity Bias (making decisions based on similarities because they are more comfortable than differences), and Experience Bias (my experiences color my perception of what’s happening around me).
Tarallo acknowledges bias is a natural part of human interaction and “overcoming bias is not simply a matter of will. Managers who are motivated to self-examine for bias are still likely to come to the conclusion that they are not biased. Instead, experts say it is more effective to try to mitigate bias by building procedures designed to weed out bias into operational systems.”
His article provides several ways to moderate bias inclinations and also discusses self-assessment, strengths analysis, performance, values and contributions. If you’d like to read it in detail, click here.
How aware are you of your biases? How about your team? What other “sticky” leadership challenges might you and your company be facing? If you’d are interested in improving your effectiveness as a leader so you can take your team to the next level, contact us to learn more about our Aepiphanni Ascend Leadership Development program. Fill out the form below and we’ll be happy to schedule a Coffee & Consult to chat in more detail about how we can help.
Kris Cavanaugh Castro is the People Development Coach at Aepiphanni, the trusted advisor for business leaders who are seeking forward-thinking solutions to help them plan for and navigate through the challenges of business growth. Kris has over 25 years of coaching, training and mentoring leaders to greater success; and she periodically writes about leadership development and facilitates change management conversations.
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