Unconscious biases are learned stereotypes that are automatic, unintentional, deeply ingrained, universal, and able to influence behavior.
Some basic types of biases:
- Like me bias: people who are similar to you
- Confirmation bias: we only listen to info that confirms preconceptions
- Anchor bias: when your mind anchors to the first piece of information that you’re given
- Particularly affects salary negotiations
As explained in the video, these are the steps to breaking down your biases:
- Become Aware
- Think about why you’ve made biased decisions in the past
- Find your trigger
- Write a list of situations when you’re most likely to experience these types of biases (email? in meetings? when you’re hungry?)
- Slow down
- If you notice a trigger, take a moment to pause and breathe. Think about why you’re using unconscious bias.
- Do one small thing differently
- Ask for feedback from others or let someone else lead meetings
- And celebrate making improvements, because habits are formed by cue > routine > reward
Thoughts on this topic:
It makes sense that we all use unconscious biases to simplify our decision-making processes by using system 1 thinking. And it also makes sense that becoming aware of these biases can help us to make much better decisions.
If you want to go much deeper on this topic, here’s a great video!
Credit for the header image to ThinkKapLearning.