Overcoming workplace bias – The Miami Times

Posted: December 11, 2020 at 4:57 am


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Whom should you hire?

Thats a question you ask yourself often, and you strive to be fair with it by hiring the best person for the job, no matter what. But what if the person doesnt fit with your team? Can you truly keep gender, race, sexuality and different beliefs out of your hiring process and your workplace? Or, as in The Leaders Guide to Unconscious Bias: How to Reframe Bias, Cultivate Connection, and Create High-Performing Teams by Pamela Fuller and Mark Murphy with Anne Chow, do you need to do better?

Ad schedules, HR concerns, budgets, board meetings is there any wonder why your head is full? Not really: According to Fuller, Murphy and Chow, our brains absorb millions of bits of information each second were awake, but were unable to process all but about 40 of those bits at any one time.

To help deal with the overload, the brain creates shortcuts which lead to unconscious bias, defined as a subliminal preference for or against a thing, person or group, compared with another. That can include sexuality, personality, gender identity, nationality, attractiveness or race, among other things you may (overtly or not) notice about an individual.

As employees of FranklinCovey, Fuller and Murphy use the performance model to explain what might be done about unconscious bias, which is as detrimental to a business as is open bias. The first step is to identify where your unconscious bias lies through a process of self-awareness, knowing how you got your biases and recognizing bias traps.

Secondly, focus on bringing others together through a culture of belonging. Be authentic, cultivate a curiosity about people, mind your words and work to ensure that employees and customers are represented in your business.

Thirdly, use careful courage to stand up for yourself and to pay attention to whats being done or said. Check yourself for any assumptions you may have on promotions, assignments or hiring. Have the courage to know when you need more self-work.

Finally, learn how the talent lifecycle can put this knowledge in action for good and for the good of all. Your team will thank you for it.

The very first thing youll want to know about this book is that its well-considered and thorough. The second thing youll want to know is that whats outlined within will require considerable work.

Thats something its authors freely admit. Its also going to take serious introspection, the possible discomfort of which isnt so much discussed here, though its hard to complain when the authors themselves are as forthcoming and honest as they are in their self-anecdotes. Fuller is a Black woman, Murphy is a gay man and Chow is Asian American, and their shared experiences very strongly illustrate the points they make.

Still, in this day and age, you cant ignore homogeny at the workplace any longer. You need the advantages that will come with The Leaders Guide to Unconscious Bias. Read it, absorb it and take your team higher.

The Leaders Guide to Unconscious Bias: How to Reframe Bias, Cultivate Connection, and Create High-Performing Teams by Pamela Fuller and Mark Murphy with Anne Chow. 304 pages. Simon & Schuster. $28.

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Overcoming workplace bias - The Miami Times

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December 11th, 2020 at 4:57 am

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