Strategies to Manage Your Own Unconscious Bias When You're Making Decisions

Joel Lesko
August 25, 2020

Can unconscious bias influence your decisions? Uh, yeah. And it's something you are choice whether to take action on.

Good article in Forbes from their Expert Panel listing some strategies for managers to be conscious during their decision-making. Some of the strategies are similar to what we discuss in our Unconscious Bias Workshops via Zoom. The starting point must always be that we all have unconscious biases. The question is, what do you want to do about your biases? Do you want to take the time and energy to explore where your blind spots are? Where you are impacting people and processes?

In our Unconscious Bias Workshops via Zoom, we not only talk about the brain science, why we all have unconscious bias and where it comes from, we also help everyone understand the impact it has on others, the workplace, job performance, and on ourselves. Then, we teach skills that anyone can learn and practice to uncover and disrupt biases with concrete actions. Read about our Workshops via Zoom.

Here's the list from the article and my commentary with what we cover in our Workshops on Zoom: 

1. Be Aware Of Your Own Bias
Easier said than done. We offer specific ways to become aware of areas your biases may show up.

2. Take A Step Out Of Your Perspective
Trying on another perspective. Empathy. Being open to other points of views. Excellent. Takes practice! 

3. Set Objective Standards
As much as possible, and - recognizing that your objective standards may not actually be objective! They themselves may be influenced by your unconscious biases.

4. Write Down Decision-Influencing Factors
This is an excellent suggestion. Get it on paper and then read it through to reflect.

5. Focus On Educating And Building Awareness
Echo of #2.

6. Find A Counterpart With A Different Background
The "Like Me" bias is powerful and needs to be tracked.

7. Ask Colleagues Who Think Differently
Echo of #2

8. Be Proactive About Team Diversity
Excellent suggestion - and important to be self-aware that your own proactivity may be influenced by unconscious biases! It doesn't end.

9. Make Yourself ‘Blind’
This is a good idea and, again, it's important to acknowledge that even if you review things that are anonymous, your brain will be scanning for something familiar / alien and categorizing accordingly. We talk about this in our Unconscious Bias Workshops via Zoom!

SunShower's Unconscious Bias Workshops via Zoom are interactive, engaging and sure to start new conversations. Not only do we teach the science about how the brain works and raise awareness about the impact of implicit bias, we also get your people thinking through the use of realistic video scenarios. Breakout rooms for small discussion and then back to the general session. Online workshop sessions range from 60 minutes to 3 hours or we can schedule on multiple days. Led by Joel Lesko and Marsha Ross-Jackson, the Workshops can help you start, or keep your Diversity Equity & Inclusion conversation alive.

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