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26 examples of bias you need on your radar

Georgina Guthrie

Georgina Guthrie

March 20, 2024

Have you ever found yourself making a snap judgment about someone only to change your mind? It’s human to make gut decisions about someone: it’s how we learned to survive. But in the workplace, this kind of hasty assessment can have disastrous (not to mention unethical) consequences. 

Unconscious biases are silent influencers, subtly shaping how we view and interact with the world. 

These ingrained prejudices affect everything from hiring decisions and promotions to daily interactions with strangers. They’re something we all have. But just because they’re common, it doesn’t mean it’s time to snooze on the situation. 

Overcoming unconscious biases requires a little work, but the benefits are more than worth it. Let’s take a closer look at some unconscious bias examples. 

What is unconscious bias?

Unconscious biases are hidden attitudes and stereotypes we all carry without realizing it. 

They’re shaped by our backgrounds, culture, and experiences, influencing our views and actions quickly and instinctively. These biases are slippery because we’re often unaware we have them, making them harder to tackle than biases we know about. 

Recognizing our unconscious biases is half the battle. By admitting we have them, we start the important work of self-reflection. Something that’s essential for personal growth, as well as building more inclusive workplace spaces. It requires a real commitment, but it can be done.

Why are unconscious biases a problem in the workplace?

Unconscious biases in the workplace have a big impact on our decisions and interactions, often without us even realizing it. These biases can create barriers to fairness, diversity, and inclusion, leading to a range of issues that affect not only individuals but the fabric of the organization itself.

Biases lead to bad decisions

The trouble with unconscious biases lies in their ability to skew decision-making. This skew can manifest in critical areas like hiring, promotions, and project assignments, where biases might favor one group over another without any valid reason. 

It’s like having a blind spot that you’re not aware of, which can lead you to make decisions that aren’t based on merit but on preconceived notions.

Biases damage employee morale 

On top of this, unconscious biases can erode the sense of belonging and value among employees. Imagine working hard and realizing that your efforts might not be recognized simply because of someone’s unchecked biases. 

When people feel overlooked or underestimated, it can lead to a decrease in job satisfaction and engagement, eventually impacting productivity and retention. 

Biases lead to stagnation 

When biases influence decision-making, it often results in a homogenous workforce where similar backgrounds and ways of thinking dominate. 

Without a wide range of perspectives, companies can find themselves repeating the same patterns and strategies, unable to innovate or adapt to changing markets. This stagnation not only affects the organization’s growth potential but also makes it less competitive in an increasingly diverse and global market. 

On top of this, biases against certain groups can prevent the organization from accurately understanding and catering to the needs of a diverse customer base, leading to yet more missed opportunities and diminished customer satisfaction. 

Biases are unsafe

In public sector jobs like the police or military intelligence, and safety-paramount jobs like aerospace, diversity is essential. When groupthink takes hold, it undermines the organization’s ability to accurately assess threats and spot a wide range of potential issues.

This can lead to misinterpretations of intelligence, inappropriate responses to incidents, improper preparation or procedures, and even the wrongful targeting of individuals or groups based on biased perceptions rather than factual evidence. 

In such high-stakes environments, where decisions can have life-or-death consequences, the importance of overcoming these biases is a must. 

Why overcoming unconscious biases is important

Is diversity important to your organization? Then you need to work on overcoming unconscious biases. 

These biases, if left unchecked, can inadvertently shape an organization’s culture, influencing who gets hired, who gets promoted, and whose voices are heard. 

By tackling the issue head-on, companies can create an environment where every individual has the opportunity to succeed based on their skills and efforts rather than being limited by preconceived notions.

  • Attract top talent: Nowadays, talent comes from every corner of the world. A workplace known for its fair practices and inclusive culture is more likely to attract a diverse pool of candidates. 
  • Boost employee engagement: When employees feel valued and judged on their merits, they’re more engaged and likely to stay with the company. This lowers turnover and the associated costs of hiring new staff.
  • Improve innovation: When people from different backgrounds come together, they bring unique approaches to problem-solving. This diversity can lead to more creative solutions and a competitive edge in the marketplace. By overcoming unconscious biases, organizations ensure that they’re not inadvertently sidelining valuable talents and ideas.
  • Strengthen the team: Biases can lead to groupthink, where the desire for conformity in a group results in dysfunctional decision-making. With a range of perspectives, organizations can make more balanced and effective decisions.
  • It’s ethically right: Every person deserves to work in an environment where they are valued and judged fairly, without the burden of battling stereotypes or biases. Creating such an environment sets a standard of fairness and equality that can influence broader societal change.

What does unconscious bias look like in action?

The mechanics of unconscious bias are rooted in the brain’s natural tendency to look for patterns and make quick assessments — a hangover from our ancestors who needed to make fast decisions to survive. In today’s world, though, these snap judgments can lead to unfair treatment, particularly in diverse settings like workplaces.

These biases show up in subtle ways, affecting how we judge others based on things like race, gender, or age. In the next section, we’ll take a look at some of the most common unconscious biases, including how to tackle them. 

26 unconscious biases to overcome

The list of unconscious biases is extensive — but today, we’re going to hone in on those that are most likely to affect decision-making, interpersonal relationships, and assessments of others’ skills in the workplace. 

1. Confirmation bias

Confirmation bias is the tendency to search for, interpret, favor, and recall information in a way that confirms one’s preexisting beliefs or hypotheses. 

It’s like having blinders on that only allow you to see what you already agree with, ignoring evidence to the contrary. In the workplace, this can lead to making decisions that aren’t supported by all the facts simply because they fit with what you already believe.

An example: If a manager believes a certain employee is not leadership material, they might only notice behaviors that reinforce this belief, ignoring instances where the employee demonstrates leadership qualities. This can unfairly limit the employee’s career progression based on a skewed perception.

How to avoid and overcome it

  • Actively seek out information and perspectives that challenge your beliefs.
  • Encourage and listen to diverse opinions, especially during decision-making processes.
  • Practice reflective thinking to question your assumptions and biases.
  • Be aware of your emotional response. If you feel defensive or angry when your beliefs are challenged, it’s a sign you’ve made them a part of your identity, which in turn has made challenges feel like a personal attack.

2. Affinity bias

Affinity bias occurs when we favor people who are like us in some way. This could be someone who shares our background, interests, or has similar characteristics. 

While it’s natural to feel more comfortable with people who seem familiar, in the workplace, this bias can lead to preferential treatment and a lack of diversity.

An example: You might see this during the hiring process, where a hiring manager leans towards candidates who graduated from the same college or come from the same hometown, regardless of their qualifications in comparison to other candidates.

How to avoid and overcome it

  • Set up structured interview processes that focus on skills and qualifications rather than personal similarities.
  • Recognize and value the benefits of diverse perspectives and experiences.
  • Make a conscious effort to build relationships with colleagues who have different backgrounds or views.

3. Gender bias

Gender bias is the preference or prejudice toward one gender over the other. It can affect how individuals are perceived, evaluated, and treated in the workplace. 

Gender bias can lead to unequal opportunities, pay disparities, and can significantly impact career progression.

An example: Assuming that women are less committed to their careers because they might prioritize family responsibilities. This assumption prevents women from being considered for high-responsibility roles or promotions, despite their qualifications and commitment.

How to avoid and overcome it

  • Use gender-neutral language in job descriptions and during evaluations.
  • Remove identifying features from application forms.
  • Establish transparent criteria for promotions and pay raises that are strictly based on performance and qualifications.
  • Provide unconscious bias training to all employees, focusing on recognizing and challenging gender stereotypes.

4. Age bias

Age bias, or ageism, involves making assumptions about someone’s capabilities or attitudes within a company based on their age. This can go both ways, with younger employees seen as inexperienced or not serious and older employees viewed as resistant to change or not tech-savvy. 

In the workplace, this bias can limit opportunities for professional growth and diminish the value of diverse age perspectives.

An example: An older employee might be overlooked for new tech training on the assumption that they would be less capable or interested in learning, despite evidence to the contrary. 

How to avoid and overcome it

  • Evaluate and recognize contributions and potential without age considerations.
  • Foster mentorship and learning opportunities that encourage cross-generational knowledge sharing.
  • Challenge stereotypes about different age groups by highlighting and celebrating the achievements of employees at all ages.

5. Halo effect

The halo effect happens when our overall impression of a person, influenced by one positive trait, leads us to make unjustifiably positive assessments of their other qualities. 

This bias can skew performance evaluations, hiring decisions, and the allocation of responsibilities, potentially overlooking more qualified candidates.

An example: A manager who rates an employee highly in all areas of performance simply because they share a common interest, even if the employee’s work in certain areas needs improvement.

How to avoid and overcome it

  • Focus on specific behaviors and outcomes when assessing performance.
  • Use multiple raters in evaluations to balance out individual biases.
  • Establish clear, objective criteria for evaluations and decisions to ensure fairness.
  • Seek multiple opinions from diverse sources for a more well-rounded view of the employee.

6. Horns effect

Contrary to the halo effect, the horns effect happens when a negative trait influences our perception of someone, leading us to view their other qualities more negatively than warranted. 

This can result in unfair treatment and missed opportunities for individuals who are otherwise competent team members.

An example: A manager who lets a single mistake overshadow an employee’s otherwise exemplary performance, affecting their willingness to assign them important tasks or projects in the future.

How to avoid and overcome it

  • Acknowledge when a negative impression is affecting your judgment and consciously adjust your perspective.
  • Seek input from others to get a more balanced view of an individual’s performance and capabilities.
  • Focus on evidence and outcomes rather than letting one aspect of someone’s behavior or performance unduly influence your opinion.
  • Check your own triggers. If you’ve taken an unreasonable dislike to someone, it might be that they remind you of someone or something negative from your past. 

7. Name bias

Name bias is the unconscious preference for or against people based on their names, often influenced by the perceived ethnicity, gender, or socio-economic status associated with the name. 

This bias can affect the recruitment process, where resumes with names that sound less ‘familiar’ or are hard to pronounce may be overlooked in favor of names that seem more ‘mainstream’ or familiar.

An example: When two equally qualified candidates apply for a job, but the one with a name that sounds more traditionally Western is more likely to get a call back for an interview. This not only limits diversity, but also denies equal opportunities to talented individuals.

How to avoid and overcome it

  • Implement a blind recruitment process where identifiable information is removed from resumes and applications.
  • Standardize interview questions and evaluate candidates based on their responses and qualifications rather than personal details.
  • Cultivate awareness and challenge personal assumptions about names and the biases they might trigger.

8. Beauty bias

Beauty bias is the tendency to favor more attractive people or penalize those who do not conform to conventional standards of beauty.

In the workplace, this bias can influence hiring decisions and evaluations unrelated to job performance or skills. It can also lead to pay disparities

An example: An employee perceived as more attractive might receive more favorable evaluations or faster promotions, not because they perform better, but because of the unconscious preferences of evaluators or managers. 

How to avoid and overcome it

  • Focus on skills, accomplishments, and specific job-related criteria when making decisions about hiring, promotions, and evaluations.
  • Train hiring managers and evaluators to recognize and mitigate their biases, including beauty bias.
  • Encourage a culture that values diversity in all its forms, including diversity of appearance.
  • Ensure a diverse range of hiring managers, so that if biases do exist, they’re not all the same. Diversity across biases isn’t perfect, but it helps ensure no single standard dominates. 

9. Status quo bias

Status quo bias is the preference for the current state of affairs, resisting changes or new ideas simply because they deviate from the ‘way things have always been done.’ 

This can stifle innovation and growth by prioritizing familiar solutions over potentially more effective, albeit unfamiliar, ones. It’s also dangerous from a whistleblower perspective, where someone raising an issue is sidelined because they represent a challenge or unwanted change of some kind.

In the workplace, this might manifest in reluctance to adopt new technologies, processes, or ideas, even when evidence suggests they could improve efficiency or outcomes.

An example: A team leader might resist transitioning to a new project management tool, despite its proven benefits, simply because they’re comfortable with the old system.

How to avoid and overcome it

  • Encourage open-mindedness and flexibility by fostering a culture that values curiosity and continuous learning.
  • Evaluate new ideas and changes based on evidence and potential benefits rather than discomfort with change.
  • Create opportunities for employees to contribute ideas and suggestions, helping them feel heard and valued.
  • Implement a change management plan to make transitions easier.

10. In-group bias

In-group bias is the tendency to favor people who belong to the same group as we do, whether that’s defined by race, nationality, gender, alma mater, or any other characteristic. 

This bias can lead to preferential treatment, impacting fairness and equality in the workplace. 

An example: A manager might be more inclined to offer opportunities to someone from their own cultural background, inadvertently disadvantaging others.

How to avoid and overcome it

  • Actively seek to include and understand people from different groups.
  • Implement team-building activities that foster inclusion and cross-group friendships.
  • Make a conscious effort to distribute opportunities and responsibilities evenly across the team.

11. Attribution bias

This one involves how we interpret and explain the behaviors of ourselves vs others. For example, we might put our own success down to hard work and talent but see others’ successes as the result of luck or external factors. 

Conversely, we might excuse our failures as circumstantial but blame others’ failures on their lack of ability or effort. In the workplace, this bias can affect performance evaluations, feedback, and team dynamics.

An example: A manager attributing an employee’s mistake to laziness or incompetence rather than considering external factors like lack of resources or unclear instructions.

How to avoid and overcome it

  • Practice empathy and consider external factors that might influence behavior and performance.
  • Seek input from multiple sources when evaluating situations to get a more balanced view.
  • Focus on constructive feedback and support to help employees overcome challenges and improve performance.

12. Groupthink

Groupthink happens when a group values harmony over accurate analysis and critical evaluation. 

It leads to decision-making processes where dissenting viewpoints are suppressed and alternatives are not fully explored. This bias can stifle innovation and lead to suboptimal or even disastrous outcomes in the workplace. 

An example: a team may proceed with a flawed project because no one wants to disrupt the consensus, even though some team members have reservations. As a result, it fails, resulting in enormous profit loss and demotivation. 

How to avoid and overcome it

  • Encourage open dialogue and constructive criticism, emphasizing that all opinions are valuable.
  • Appoint a ‘devil’s advocate’ in meetings to ensure different perspectives are considered.
  • Foster an environment where questioning and curiosity are valued, and dissent is seen as a necessary part of the decision-making process.

13. Anchoring bias

Anchoring bias refers to the tendency to rely too heavily on the first piece of information offered (the ‘anchor’) when making decisions, even if it’s ultimately irrelevant.

This can affect negotiations, pricing decisions, and strategic planning, among other things. 

An example: A manager might anchor on the first salary figure mentioned in a negotiation, making it difficult to adjust to more appropriate salary levels based on further discussion and information.

How to avoid and overcome it

  • Be aware of the initial information as a potential anchor and consciously adjust your judgments and decisions accordingly.
  • Seek out additional information and perspectives before making a decision.
  • Practice setting ranges rather than fixed points for estimates and negotiations to counteract the influence of an anchor.

14. Culture bias

Culture bias is the predisposition to interpret and judge people’s behaviors, values, and beliefs through the lens of our own cultural background. 

This can lead to misunderstandings and conflicts in multicultural workplaces, where diverse traditions and communication styles are present. 

An example: Assuming that a colleague is being rude or standoffish when, in fact, they are simply adhering to the communication norms of their culture, which may value silence and indirectness.

How to avoid and overcome it

  • Educate yourself and your team about different cultural norms and communication styles.
  • Foster an inclusive environment where cultural and psychological differences are respected and celebrated.
  • Encourage team members to share their cultural backgrounds and perspectives, boosting mutual understanding.

15. Role congruity bias

Role congruity bias is the tendency to judge people based on stereotypical perceptions of their social roles rather than their individual capabilities or interests. 

This can affect how individuals are perceived in their suitability for certain jobs or responsibilities, often based on gender, age, or other characteristics. 

An example: Assuming that a woman may not be suited for a leadership position in a tech company due to the stereotype that men are more likely to excel in STEM fields.

How to avoid and overcome it

  • Challenge stereotypes by promoting diversity in all roles and levels within the organization.
  • Listen to people who occupy these roles, challenging your own ideas of what certain demographics can and can’t do. 
  • Evaluate individuals based on their skills, experience, and performance, rather than preconceived notions about their social roles.
  • Encourage and support all employees in pursuing roles and projects that interest them, regardless of stereotypes.

16. Contrast effect

The contrast effect occurs when the comparison of two or more objects or people is affected by the comparison itself rather than an objective assessment. 

In the workplace, this might happen during job interviews or performance reviews, where an individual’s assessment is influenced by those who were evaluated before them. 

An example: A perfectly qualified candidate might seem less competent if interviewed immediately after an outstanding candidate. 

How to avoid and overcome it

  • Make efforts to evaluate each individual or situation on its own merits, using standardized criteria.
  • Be aware of the potential for the contrast effect, especially during sequential evaluations.
  • Implement a pause or break between assessments to reset your evaluative criteria and approach each case with a fresh perspective.

17. Recency bias

Recency bias is the tendency to give more weight to recent events or information when evaluating or making decisions. 

This can lead to skewed assessments of an individual’s performance, where recent successes or failures overshadow their overall track record. 

An example: This might mean a team member is unfairly evaluated based on a recent mistake or achievement rather than their consistent performance over time.

How to avoid and overcome it

  • Keep comprehensive records of performance and achievements to ensure a balanced view over time.
  • Train managers and evaluators to recognize and correct for recency bias.
  • Ensure evaluations consider both recent and long-term performance, providing a fair and comprehensive assessment. 
  • Use project management tools to add an extra layer of objectivity to your reports.

18. Overconfidence bias

Overconfidence bias is when we have too much confidence in our own knowledge, skills, or judgment, often leading to underestimating risks, challenges, or the value of others’ input. 

This can pop up in the workplace as a reluctance to seek advice, overlooking potential pitfalls in a project, or underestimating the time and resources needed to complete tasks. 

An example: A project leader insisting on an unrealistic deadline despite their team’s concerns, believing they can overcome any obstacles without additional support or adjustments.

How to avoid and overcome it

  • Encourage a culture of humility and continuous learning, where seeking advice and admitting uncertainty are valued.
  • Implement checks and balances, such as peer reviews or feedback sessions, to validate decisions and plans.
  • Foster an environment where constructive feedback is welcomed and acted upon, helping individuals calibrate their self-assessment more accurately.
  • Prize deep, slow thought alongside snappy decisions. 

19. Sunk cost fallacy

Sunk cost fallacy is the inclination to continue investing in a project or decision based on the cumulative prior investment (time, resources, money) despite new evidence suggesting that the cost, moving forward, outweighs the expected benefits. 

In the workplace, this can lead to persisting with doomed projects or strategies simply because you’ve already sunk a lot of money into the endeavor rather than cutting losses and exploring better alternatives. 

An example: Continuing to fund a product development that market research now shows has little demand, simply because the project is already underway and significant resources have been spent.

How to avoid and overcome it

  • Make decisions based on future value and potential, rather than past investments.
  • Regularly review projects and strategies with a critical eye, being willing to pivot or stop when evidence suggests it’s the best course of action.
  • Encourage a culture where changing course is seen as a strength and an integral part of adaptive and responsive decision-making.

20. Bandwagon effect

Closely related to groupthink, the bandwagon effect is the tendency to do something primarily because others are doing it, regardless of your own beliefs or the evidence at hand. This bias can lead to conformity that stifles individual thought and innovation. 

An example: Adopting a new management fad without properly evaluating its relevance or potential impact on the organization, simply because it’s popular or widely adopted in the industry.

How to avoid and overcome it

  • Foster an environment where critical thinking and questioning are encouraged, even if it goes against the majority opinion. 
  • Give space for people to raise concerns.
  • Make decisions based on data and a thorough analysis of the situation, rather than popularity or trends.
  • Encourage diversity of thought by bringing together teams with varied backgrounds and perspectives to challenge the status quo and explore multiple options before making decisions.

21. Idiosyncratic rater bias

Idiosyncratic rater bias happens when an evaluator’s personal preferences, experiences, or peculiarities unduly influence their assessment of someone else’s performance or abilities. 

This bias can lead to a lack of consistency in performance reviews, because different evaluators may apply their unique standards rather than adhering to a uniform set of criteria. 

An example: One manager might rate an employee highly on communication skills because they value assertiveness, while another might mark them lower for the same reason, preferring a more reserved communication style.

How to avoid and overcome it

  • Standardize evaluation criteria across the board to ensure fairness and consistency.
  • Train evaluators on these criteria and the importance of objectivity in assessments.
  • Incorporate multiple perspectives by having more than one person review each performance, reducing the impact of any one individual’s biases.

22. Affect heuristic

This refers to a mental shortcut that influences our decision-making based on our current emotions rather than objective analysis. 

Decisions made under the influence of this bias may not accurately reflect the best course of action but rather our immediate emotional responses. In a work setting, this can lead to snap decisions about projects or personnel that are driven by how a manager feels at that moment, rather than their actual merits or the needs of the organization.

An example: Choosing a job candidate because they made you feel optimistic and enthusiastic during the interview, despite another candidate having better qualifications and experience.

How to avoid and overcome it

  • Encourage decision-makers to recognize and pause when emotions might be driving their choices.
  • Implement a review process that allows time for emotional reactions to settle and for rational, data-driven analysis to take precedence.
  • Foster a culture where emotional intelligence is developed, enabling employees to understand and manage their emotions effectively.

23. Illusory correlation

Illusory correlation refers to the mistaken belief that a relationship exists between two variables when no such relationship actually exists. This can lead to the reinforcement of stereotypes and unfounded beliefs.

An example: The incorrect assumption that productivity dips on Fridays because employees are distracted by the upcoming weekend, even if data doesn’t support this notion. This might then lead to unnecessary policy changes or unjustified monitoring.

How to avoid and overcome it

  • Base decisions and policies on data analysis, looking for actual trends and correlations.
  • Educate employees on the nature of cognitive biases, including the tendency to see connections where none exist.
  • Encourage a culture of skepticism and inquiry, where assumptions are challenged and decisions are data-driven.

24. Perception bias

This happens when our preconceived notions influence how we view and understand others, often leading to misjudgment of abilities, intentions, and characteristics. This bias can distort the way we evaluate and interact with colleagues, leading to unfair treatment and missed opportunities. 

An example: Assuming a younger employee isn’t knowledgeable about certain historical industry trends, despite their extensive research and interest in the topic.

How to avoid and overcome it

  • Actively seek to learn about and understand individuals beyond surface-level perceptions.
  • Implement objective criteria for evaluating performance and contributions, minimizing subjective judgments.
  • Foster a culture of continuous feedback and open communication, allowing for perceptions to be challenged and corrected.

26. Authority bias

Authority bias is our tendency to attribute greater weight and credibility to the opinions of those in positions of authority, regardless of the actual evidence or logic supporting their views. 

In the workplace, this can suppress dissenting opinions and innovative ideas, because employees might feel compelled to agree with their superiors even when they have valid concerns or alternative suggestions. 

An example: A team might follow through with a flawed strategy because it was advocated by a senior leader, despite clear evidence suggesting a need for a different approach.

How to avoid and overcome it

  • Encourage a culture where questioning and constructive criticism are welcome, regardless of hierarchical positions.
  • Train leaders to recognize and mitigate their own biases, promoting humility and openness to feedback.
  • Implement decision-making processes that value evidence and diverse perspectives over hierarchical authority.
  • Consider a bottom-up approach during certain projects, or rolled out across the organization. 

26. Conformity bias

Conformity bias refers to the tendency of individuals to align their opinions, perceptions, and behaviors with those of a group, even if they conflict with their own beliefs or the evidence at hand. 

This bias can lead to a lack of diversity in thought and innovation, because the desire for harmony and acceptance overrides genuine exploration. 

An example: A team member withholding a unique solution to a problem because it deviates from the consensus, fearing it could disrupt group cohesion.

How to avoid and overcome it

  • Create an environment that values and rewards individual contribution and critical thinking.
  • Encourage the expression of diverse viewpoints by ensuring all team members have the opportunity to speak and be heard.
  • Structure meetings and discussions in a way that minimizes group pressure and emphasizes the importance of diverse perspectives for achieving the best outcomes.

How to be conscious of your unconscious biases

While these biases operate just below the surface of our awareness, there are ways we can bring them to light. Here’s how individuals and organizations can work towards this goal:

Reflect and acknowledge

The first step is to acknowledge that we all have biases. This isn’t an admission of guilt but an acknowledgment of our humanity. Spend time reflecting on your interactions and decisions. Ask yourself hard questions about why you might prefer one candidate over another or why certain behaviors in colleagues trigger a negative response. Reflection is a powerful tool.

Educate yourself

Education plays a starring role in overcoming unconscious biases. Take part in training sessions and workshops on diversity, equity, and inclusion. Read books, watch documentaries, and listen to podcasts that challenge your worldview. Exposure to different perspectives is key to broadening your understanding and empathy.

Seek feedback

We all have blind spots, and sometimes, others can see what we cannot. Regular feedback from colleagues, mentors, and diversity and inclusion officers can help you spot instances where your decisions or behaviors may have been influenced by a sneaky bias. Nurture a culture where you can give and receive feedback in a constructive and supportive way.

Implement structured decision-making processes

Set up structured processes that standardize evaluations based on objective criteria. For example, use blind recruitment processes, standardized interviews, and base performance evaluations based on clear, measurable goals. To add an extra layer of subjectivity, use project management tools to collect data to back up any feedback in reviews. 

Foster an inclusive environment

Cultivate a workplace culture that values and seeks out diversity in all its forms. When people feel valued and understood, they are more likely to speak up and bring innovative ideas to the table. An inclusive environment isn’t just about preventing bias but actively building a space where every voice is heard and respected.

Practice mindfulness and Intentionality

Be present in your interactions. Mindfulness can help you spot when you’re relying on snap judgments. Before making a decision, pause to think about whether you’re being swayed by biases and if you’re giving fair consideration to all options and individuals.

Commit to continuous improvement

Overcoming unconscious bias is a journey, and it’s one that matters whether you’re a small business or global corporation. Commit to lifelong learning and growth. As you and your team become more alert to your biases, you’ll also become better at managing them. 

Remember, the goal isn’t perfection but to make consistent progress towards fairness and inclusion.



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