… it’s really not an option
. . . to help you avoid your biases
Today’s Tuesday Reading turns again to focus on another aspect of bias, how to keep our minds from falling for bad advice.
. . . Between Work and the Rest of Your Life
Today, in the United States some four out of every five individuals age 5 and older have some type of cell phone. And, most of these have sufficient functionality to be called smartphones. This is in stark contrast to the time when I was growing up in a small rural southeast Texas town.
Sometimes we need to react fast, automatically. For example, as we see a large truck speeding towards us as we are standing in the edge of the street waiting for a traffic light to change. Or, as we observe the subtle cues of a very dissatisfied client. And, at a different time, we may find ourselves totally engrossed in the deep work1 of a seemingly intractable problem. And, then our thoughts and actions need to proceed at a slower pace.
Steven Westlund is the author of today’s Tuesday Reading. He is the Director of Enterprise Applications Architecture at Washington University in St. Louis. His essay first appeared as a leadership program reflection earlier this year. [Steve may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.]
… “If you have a brain, you’re biased.”1
The Cambridge English Dictionary defines bias as a “personal opinion that influences your judgment.” We all have such personal opinions.
… my team is a safe place for interpersonal risk taking
Early this decade Google was focused on building the perfect team. Even earlier, the company had endeavored to capture large quantities of data about employees and how they worked. They knew, for example, how frequently particular people ate together (more productive people had larger networks of dining partners) and were able to identify key traits shared by the very best managers (good communication and avoidance of micromanaging).
… men and women can both be "victims" and "perpetrators"
Turn on the radio or television, read a magazine or newspaper, surf the web. You’ll likely hear or see a story about sexual harassment or assault or mischief on the part of someone in power – a broadcast personage, a media executive, a politician, etc.
Brian McDonald is the author of today’s Tuesday Reading. He is the president of MOR Associates an organization he founded in 1983 based on the belief that many organizations do not maximize the contribution most people want to make at work. More recently, he has led the development of the MOR family of leadership programs.
During the past two years there has been a more intentional focus on the leader’s responsibility to create a more inclusive environment in the MOR Leaders Program.