In HR we know about unconscious bias, but do we apply that knowledge as business owners and decision makers? Not really…
MD Suzie Bogle shares her insight…
What is unconscious bias
I have been training in interview skills for about 25 years and we have trained in “unconscious basis” for all that time. It seems we have had a bit of re-brand and update in the terminology.
Do you remember the Halo/Horns effect or the Mirror effect? These are forms of unconscious bias.
Unconscious Bias is defined as:
“Unconscious bias (also known as implicit bias) is essentially a form of prejudice and can arise in all types of situations, including where you have the power to influence outcomes through your behaviour. It refers to the way in which your understanding, actions and decisions are affected by attitudes or stereotypes without your awareness and/or intentional control. You may believe that you are fair, objective and do not have automatic positive or negative feelings towards particular people; but in reality, we all unconsciously categorise people and make judgments.”
Unconscious Bias in Business
Recruitment and promotion
We need to avoid our unconscious bias in terms of who we have in our businesses, mini me’s are no good for effective teams!
Being conscious of our unconscious bias is critical in working as a team – we need to listen and absorb views on the merits of the argument or position not on the person who is presenting it.
Buying a service or Product
We all work with sales people and they are hired for their ability to build relationships, but we need to concentrate on the core issue – what are we buying and going to use?
Overcoming unconscious bias
Identifying bias comes first, followed by thinking about ourselves and understanding what our unconscious biases may be. Knowledge makes them “conscious bias” and once we acknowledge this, we can do something about it.
Develop a requirement specification document to detail exactly what the business needs are and then use a decision-making matrix and score sheet will help to remove the subjective decision making and will also mean that you get what you need not what you “want”!
To learn more about unconscious bias, attitude and mindset, culture and diversity, our training and development platform DevelopME has a wealth of content.