"No matter how unbiased we think we are, we may have subconscious negative opinions about people who are outside our own group. But the more we are exposed to other groups of people, the less likely we are to feel prejudice against them."
- Mind Tools
I'm in Leadership, I'm Not Biased
I hate to break it to you...but yes, yes you are, and we have our brains to blame for some of those biases. We are not able to process the millions of bits of information slamming into us every second of the day.
So, our brains make quick judgments based on things that are familiar (skin color, accent, job, education, geography, etc.) to help move past the simple things and get us to the really important stuff. Except the little things are the important stuff.
Trying to convince ourselves otherwise is not only foolish, it is quite literally, impossible.
Attack Your Biases...With Humility
One of the inherent problems of leadership, and in particular as we rise through the corporate ranks, is that we rely on our our own opinions more and more. We become removed from the operations, and the work flow, and the team that understands how the work gets done in the trenches.
Our over inflated egos block our ability to see and hear what we need so desperately to lead effectively. If we are to guide our organizations forward, we must understand what is happening from every point of view.
The solution is pretty straightforward if you're a strong enough leader to handle it.
- Ask for input.
- Listen to what your trusted circle tells you.
- Do not get defensive.
How About You
Who is there for you? For me, it is my Personal Board of Directors. A team of leaders who don't know it, but are the ones I on rely for candid feedback when I'm sure "I know exactly what I'm doing."
I'd love to hear from you.