WHAT ARE YOUR BLINDSPOTS?
Organizations strive for inclusive culture as it can lead to concrete benefits like greater innovation, increased productivity, reduced attrition and better engagement with stakeholders. But the biggest challenge is in moving from intent to concrete strategy and action.
“One of the key challenges comes in the form of unconscious biases.” This is called blindspot!
These unconscious biases form our likes, dislikes, and profile our judgments about people’s character; abilities and potential without any conscious logic or awareness thus can lead to wrong actions or decisions.
Let me share a personal experience with my own blindspots as a parent. About 10 years back, but I still remember it vividly; my children (that time aged 12 and 14 years) were playing with two of their friends. Suddenly one of their friends came running to me complaining that one of my boys was fighting with him. I at once called my younger child and started scolding him…..“Why are you fighting with your friend ?” The spontaneous reply from my child was ‘I didn’t do it’ but I did not listen and reprimanded him. After some time the complaining friend said “Uncle, it’s not him…it’s the one with black glasses” and I then realized my error. My younger son being the mischievous one, I had automatically assumed its him. But all the while, it was my older child who needed to be spoken to.
Let’s look at blindspots in work situations. For instance, in selection, either for a new role or for a project, you may think you are following all the right processes and being fair in your decisions. But if you have an embedded bias, due to some past experience, then this is likely to influence your action and decision. For example, the effort you will take to retain a talent might be a function of your preference for or against the person. This may result in deciding at lightning speed to identify replacement CVs even before a formal resignation is put in.
It is because of these unconscious biases that people get defensive as they feel targeted. It is therefore important to overcome these biases whether intentional or unintentional and create an atmosphere of inclusivity to achieve the desired results.
“An important concern is how to address this challenge of blindspots.”
A research in cognitive psychology suggests that; people must become aware of their biases; they must be concerned about the consequences of their biases and only then can they be motivated to perform to their best both at personal or professional front.
So, let’s move ahead on a journey to do away our blindspots…one bias at a time.....and together build a more inclusive society / organization for times to come.