AC­KNOWL­EDGE YOUR BIASES

WHAT IS DRIV­ING THE CHOICES AND DE­CI­SIONS YOU MAKE IN YOUR DAY-TO-DAY LIFE?

Warwick Daily News - - Weekend - MIND YOU WORDS: ROWENA HARDY Rowena Hardy is a fa­cil­i­ta­tor, per­for­mance coach and part­ner of Minds Aligned: mind­saligned.com.au

On any given day we make dozens, maybe hun­dreds, of de­ci­sions and choices. Whether large or small, lifechang­ing or just a mi­nor ad­just­ment, they are all in­flu­enced by our un­con­scious biases and, be­ing un­con­scious, we are un­aware they ex­ist un­til we start recog­nis­ing their im­pact.

Although we might like to think that we are fair, bal­anced and con­sid­ered when it comes to how we de­cide on some­thing, in fact we’re not and our biases af­fect not only how we make de­ci­sions but also how we see the world, how we be­have, where we fo­cus our at­ten­tion, our in­ter­ac­tions, the way we re­mem­ber things, our be­liefs and what we hold to be im­por­tant. In other words, they af­fect al­most ev­ery­thing. In fact, there are around 114 biases that have been iden­ti­fied … so far.

One com­mon one is the neg­a­tiv­ity bias, which has us pay­ing more at­ten­tion to neg­a­tive rather than pos­i­tive ex­pe­ri­ences or in­for­ma­tion. For ex­am­ple, if we re­ceived feed­back from 10 peo­ple about the qual­ity of our work and eight peo­ple thought it was awe­some and two saw er­rors and ar­eas for im­prove­ment it is likely that we ig­nore the eight and fo­cus on the two.

One par­tic­u­larly sig­nif­i­cant bias is the horns and halo ef­fect. This can be de­scribed as “the ten­dency to al­low one’s judg­ment of another per­son to be un­duly in­flu­enced by an un­favourable (horns) or favourable (halo) first im­pres­sion based on ap­pear­ances”.

It may have hap­pened for you at times in a so­cial set­ting when you meet some­one for the first time and the way they look, sound or speak re­minds you of some­one else. If you like that other per­son then you’re likely to like this new one (halo) and vice versa (horns).

That may or may not be a prob­lem de­pend­ing on the cir­cum­stances but imag­ine that you are on the re­ceiv­ing end of such a bias in a re­cruit­ment in­ter­view for ex­am­ple.

What if you re­minded one of the in­ter­view panel of some­one they don’t like or don’t get along with? Even if you have all of the skills, ex­pe­ri­ence and at­tributes to be suc­cess­ful in the job, their per­cep­tion of you is al­ready clouded and that could mean that you are not of­fered the job.

Although these biases may play out dif­fer­ently for each of us based on our lived ex­pe­ri­ence, it is im­por­tant for us to ac­knowl­edge that they do ex­ist, out­side our im­me­di­ate aware­ness, and do our best to recog­nise where they may be hav­ing an im­pact.

The next time you are about to make a choice or de­ci­sion, par­tic­u­larly if it is a ma­jor one, take a mo­ment to stop and con­sider what is driv­ing it and ex­plore some dif­fer­ent pos­si­bil­i­ties and per­spec­tives be­fore mov­ing ahead. It could make all the dif­fer­ence to the re­sult.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.