Today we hosted an incredible call about Unconscious Bias.   Everyone has them … based on your history, experiences, and context.   Take this test — it is a real eye opener!

What is UnConscious Bias?

A personal and sometimes unreasoned judgment (Merriam-Webster)

Unconscious biases influence our judgment and decision-making, and because we are not aware of them, can be detrimental in certain circumstances such as what information to prioritize in decision-making, who to hire, promote, and reward, and where to allocate precious resources.

Why do we have these biases?

We work in everyday between the automatic pilot and thoughtful, reflective moments.   Most of us are on that automatic pilot most of the day — driving to work,  the feeling when wearing shoes, breathing, etc  but when we pause and do the slow thinking, we think about the facts and the basis of our decisions.    When you are in System 1 — intuitive — you make assumptions you don’t even know about!

system 1 system 2

Understand the Ladder of Influence:

We have a lot of filters that we need to be aware of.  I love this ladder from Chris on how much data we process automatically.   Alot of our conclusions are based on assumptions, based on a selective set of data.

ladder of influencer

What do you do?  Unconscious Bias:

  • Be willing to examine your own assumptions and experiences.
  • If you feel uncomfortable, say so.
  • Be willing to practice inquiry if you suspect unconscious bias in action: seek to understand.
  • Start from the assumption of good intentions.