A bias is a judgement or opinion that’s based on our own thoughts about someone or something – rather than the reality or the facts. Unconscious bias is a bias we are unaware of- it stays at the back of our mind but impact what we think and how we behave. The impact of acting out our bias are often negative: break-downs in collaboration and relationships to dysfunctional work cultures and disastrous decisions.
Biases are natural (we can’t help having them) but they shouldn’t go unchallenged. So, the answer is not to rid ourselves of biases (which is impossible) but instead to learn to manage them. We suggest that a simple 3-step process by asking ourselves 3 simple questions everything we encounter a challenging situation/person that might cause our mind to start making assumptions and judgments.
The 3 “A”s
Make the unconscious bias conscious –
Ask “WHAT DO I BELIEVE?”
Address the bias with the reality/truth by challenging the bias –
Ask “HOW CAN I BE WRONG?”
Stretch to embrace diversity to increase collaboration –