The UC 057: Unconscious Bias: Can You Overcome Yours?

TheUC 057

Bias, whether unconscious or not, can unwittingly keep us from recognizing great opportunities. Your bias can destroy potentially significant long term value. It is VERY important to recognize and understand your biases so that you can overcome them and be a productive and value generating leader. Often times the greatest impediment to success is ourselves, and we don’t even know it.

  1. What is unconscious bias?
    1. Biasis a prejudice in favor of or against one thing, person, or group compared with another usually in a way that’s considered to be unfair.
    2. None of us wants to be bias, but we are all guilty.
    3. Open minded people will be thoughtful enough to derail their unconscious biases in their behavior so their actions don’t reflect their bias.
    4. If you don’t acknowledge that you do have some biases that are wired in you then you have no hope of being a good and value generating leader.
  2. Recap of past couple of shows
    1. Unfortunately, fear sells and even more unfortunately most people are buying. However, leaders who resort to leading by fear are bad leaders. They fear the greatest fear of all: the truth. What do you fear? Can you rise above your fear to be a value generating leader?
  3. Discussion Exercise: Get out 2 pieces of paper or 2 note cards and grab a pen or pencil.
    1. Take one of the cards and write down three things you think other people would think when they first see you. When you are done…turn it over. We will get to the other card later.
  4. Understanding bias
    1. Conscious bias(also know as explicit bias) is less prevalent than unconscious bias.
    2. Unconscious bias(also know as implicit bias) is highly prevalent, social stereotypes about certain groups of people that individuals form outside their own conscious awareness.
    3. Biases, conscious or unconscious, are not limited to ethnicity and race.
    4. Bias may exist toward from any social group. One’s age, gender, gender identity physical abilities, religion, sexual orientation, weight, and many other characteristics visible or invisible are subject to bias.
  5. Solving ‘unconscious bias’ is more than a $10B a year industry, Forbes: November 2, 2015, “Rise of the Bias Busters: How Unconscious Bias Became Silicon Valley’s Newest Target”
    1. Silicon Valley brought this industry about, reports showed bias in workforce:
      1. Women held about a third of all jobs, and even fewer in technical and leadership roles.
      2. Asian workers were far overrepresented with about a third of jobs,
      3. Black and Hispanic workers had just a percent or two.
      4. Does it help? Some say brining up the biases actually encourages stereotypes.
  1. What are your biases? Activity: Would you help if someone knocked on your door?
  2. What are the “strikes” against you? What biases do we elicit in others?  New Year Blog Post
    1. Skin color, hair color, height, weight…all of these physical traits elicit thoughts from different people based on their own experiences and perspectives. Which ones are invisible? Such as religion and political affiliation…maybe even country of origin…and socio-economic status.
  3. Some overcompensate for their bias.
    1. If your actions, work product and behavior aren’t speaking for themselves that you have to make sure you are telling people how to assess, then you’ve just raised the red flag.
    2. You must take responsibility and admit the bias and ONLY then can you move on in a meaningful, value added and productive direction.
  4. Discussion activity continued: Remember at the beginning of this show I asked you to have 2 cards. Now it is time to take out the2nd card.
    1. Look in the mirror, and write down the first 3 things that come to your mind when you see your reflection.
    2. Turn over the first card from beginning of podcast. Are any of the words the same? Do you believe that others see you as you see yourself?
    3. First card is actually meaningless. We can only control the second card.
  5. Innovation only occurs when we have multiple perspectives coming together to create something that hasn’t been considered before. So it is SO important to recognize your issues so you don’t trip over them, otherwise we will regress. We will FAIL.
  6. At the end of the day it is all about perspective. Everyone’s is different. Smart people will welcome many varied perspectives. We are all a compilation of our own experiences and the scars they’ve left.
  7. LISTENER CHALLENGE: See a PERSON first. If you can be courageous enough to see a PERSON first and above all, then you will be the best kind of capitalist off all! You Will generate extraordinary long term value.