Overcoming unconscious bias

Awareness of the various forms of unconscious bias is the first step towards overcoming. However, just being aware is not enough. Managers must structure their decision-making in various areas like hiring, feedback, performance conversations and promotion recommendations.

By structuring the processes by which people decisions are made, managers can begin to mitigate the potential impact of unconscious bias.

A structured decision-making process includes:

  1. Cleary defined success criteria

    Articulating what success looks like with specific example before taking the decision.

  2. Collective understanding of success

    A team as a collective can make better decisions. Managers should find an opportunity to discuss the key success criteria.

  3. Calibration of recommendations

    Managers should discuss and calibrate their recommendations so that underlying assumptions are clarified.

  4. Decision scoping

    Managers should pre-define the scope of the decisions to be made so that unwarranted discussions can be avoided.

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