by Suzanne F. Stevens, Conscious-Contribution™ Cultivator, Certified Speaking Professional (CSP), originally posted on YouMeWe.ca
As a leader, do you actively seek out different points of view? Or do your unconscious biases assume the same people will provide the innovative solutions you seek?
Who do you think may bring the most innovative solutions forward?
- The person with purple hair, or the person with grey hair?
- A person that is deeply religious, or someone who is an atheist?
- An individual who is educated at a private university a college graduate, or an entrepreneur with a high school education?
- Someone who likes to enjoy a cocktail, or someone who abstains?
These assumptions can be biases and will be barriers to engagement and innovation for your organization. What can you do to ensure your assumptions stay in check, and don’t influence your perception of another person?
Use a bias buster
Use a bias buster. A bias buster is how you uncover, understand, or overcome an unconscious bias.
What are your unconscious biases? Use a bias buster. A bias buster is how you uncover, understand, or overcome an unconscious bias. #MyContributionCounts #YouMeWeMovement
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Here is a bias buster process that will help you get the best innovative ideas from your team.
- Become AWARE of your biases. Have an honest conversation with yourself. Ask: “When I meet, see, or talk to someone that is _________ (put any of the above descriptors in the blank) what is my immediate perception? Example: When I meet, see or talk to someone who is gay what is my immediate perception?
- WHY does that perception exist?
- Use LOGIC. Ask yourself ‘how many _____ (bias here) do I know that act _____ (perception here). For example: How many millennials do I know that are lazy?
- When you’re about to impose your bias, this is a CAUSE for PAUSE. Neuro-Linguistic programming (otherwise known as NLP), suggests pausing for 7 seconds, this will allow enough time for you to become conscious of your behaviour.
- LISTEN, to the other person to give your bias an opportunity to be proven inaccurate.
- SEEK COMMON GROUND, we all have something in common, we just need to ask questions to learn what it is. Are you a cat lover? A dog lover? The common ground would be you love animals.
- Lastly, decide to be OPEN MINDED, to interact with diverse groups of people without judgment. You will be amazed by what you learn.
How to practice a bias-free life? Or at least start limiting them.
This weekend, seek someone out that traditionally you wouldn’t speak to. Perhaps a person who is homeless, a person of a specific culture, a person who is disabled.
How to practice a bias-free life? Or at least start limiting them. Take action with 7 bias busters. #MyContributionCounts #YouMeWeMovement
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Start a conversation… I’ll even give you the question… “Hello, I’m … how familiar are you with this area? Then ask … What are some of the changes you have noticed in the area, at work, etc … and how have they impacted you? Or “How has your day been so far?”
Want to learn more about your biases? Do this 12-minute test, and get a peek into your natural tendencies, then go through the above first three steps. You may have a new perspective on why your assumptions were unfounded. https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/
When it comes to innovation or any decision for that matter, it is best to maximize the power of diverse perspectives, include and seek input from people with a wide variety of backgrounds. This will optimize the contribution of the group.
When it comes to innovation, it is best to maximize the power of diverse perspectives, include & seek input from people with a wide variety of backgrounds. This will optimize the contribution of the group. #YouMeWeMovement…
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Next weWednesday we will provide a perspective on the bias that comes with privilege.
Until next time, make your contributions count.
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Suzanne F. Stevens, Conscious-Contributor Cultivator
Certified Speaking Professional, (CSP)
Social entrepreneur |Professional Speaker | Host | Author | Philanthropist
2017 National President: Canadian Association of Professional Speakers (CAPS)
Awards: TIAW World of Difference Recipient for women economic empowering
Accreditation: Suzanne is one of 65 Certified Speaking Professionals (CSP) in Canada and is in the exclusive 15% of speakers who have this designation internationally.