Bias: Nature or Nurture?
Bias, we all live with it. It does impact your life and business. Small Business Owners are influenced by this throughout their day.
The two questions I have for you: Are you aware how it impacts your business decisions? Do you understand it enough to work with it effectively?
If you’re like most Small Business Owners, your answers reveal you will benefit from learning more about this. Perhaps, you’ll see this as a very unexpected way to improve YOUR Business’s Performance.
Allow me to introduce today’s guest blogger: Susan McCuistion
Susan McCuistion, founder of daiOne, LLC, is our guest blogger today. She is nationally known for her work in Diversity & Inclusion. She makes what many refer to as a gray-area topic very practical and applicable to work and life. Susan’s wisdom is 100% applicable to your business. This is why I invited her to be one the members of the Brilliant Breakthroughs for the Small Business Owner #1 Bestselling Book Series Author Team. On November 14, 2018 a group of 8 Brilliant Practicing ExpertsTM lead by Maggie, will be releasing their book to coincide with National Entrepreneurs Month. It is written specifically for Small Business Owners, by Small Business Owners, to help you learn how to win BIG at small business in the 21st century!
To give you a glimpse of a couple different chapters, I invited our co-authors to write a short guest blog to learn about why their chapter topic is important to YOUR Business Success.
Susan’s message about bias:
When I facilitate classes, it’s almost inevitable that the word “bias” comes up. I’ll be honest, there’s a lot of terminology in my work that sounds negative. As as a result, people are resistant to hearing about the idea – and the word “bias” is one of them. What I tell people is the word “bias” is not bad; biases are natural, and we all have them. It’s how we use our biases in response to a situation that matters. Do we automatically react negatively to certain situations and more positively to others? Or, do we have the self-awareness to understand our responses and adjust them accordingly?
For a long time, I believed biases were learned – more nurture than nature. However, a few years ago, I learned about some studies that are causing me to question that belief.
At Yale University’s Infant Cognition Center, studies were conducted to test in-group and out-group dynamics. A baby watches a puppet play and then is asked to choose the puppet most like them. Then, another puppet play is done – and this is where things get interesting. Overwhelmingly, the baby likes good things to happen to the puppets like them, and bad things to happen to the puppets that aren’t like them. Researchers believe the babies are showing a preference for “those who are in my group.”
Watching the study made me question whether biases are learned or built-in. If babies who can’t yet walk or talk like bad things to happen to puppets that aren’t like them, what does that mean for how ingrained our biases are? Maybe this helps explain why it’s so hard for us to let go of them – because we were born with the beginnings of them, and they’ve shaped and reinforced over many years by our family and friends.
So, how do we become aware of our biases?
One way is to use an online tool called the Implicit Association Test (IAT). The IAT was developed by researchers at Harvard to help make us aware of our biases. There are currently 14 tests available – from race/ethnicity to religion to body type. For each test, a pair of pictures and words is flashed onto the screen, and you’re measured on your response time to each pair. At the end, you’re given a quick report letting you know how biased you were in that situation. (Notice here that I said, “how biased.” I don’t want anyone surprised by your results, because you will most likely be biased.)
Recognize that biases are natural. If a small child has biases, how many biases do you think you have developed over your years of life? There’s nothing wrong with bias – it’s how our brain works. But we do have to recognize them so that we don’t react inappropriately because of them.
Questioning deep biases can be quite disconcerting, because we might discover some things about ourselves that we don’t particularly like. However, only through self-awareness and examination of our biases can we come to a better understanding of ourselves, and in that understanding, learn how to better reconcile our differences with others.
SMALL BUSINESS SUCCESS NOTE:
If you want to learn more about Susan McCuistion and our Author Team, and how to get the Book, go to: BrilliantBizBook.com you’ll get 100 Tips for Small Business Owners Success Report. We have all sorts of great information there for you and you’ll get to learn more about who Susan is and how to engage with her! Thanks Susan for an insightful wisdom-sharing.
THANKS FOR ALLOWING ME TO HELP YOU IMPROVE YOUR BUSINESS!
Brilliant Breakthroughs, Inc. helps Small Business Owners
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p.s.: Since your business involves you working with people, this is important topic to understand. It will help you improve the quality of your relationships or what we call: People Performance. Don’t minimize the power of this to support YOUR Business Success!
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