When you first meet someone, judging them on a plethora of factors – from gender, age and weight to attractiveness and socio-economic status – often happens instinctively, but recognising that you’re doing it is the first step to reducing any potential bias, and in so doing, treating that person fairly. This series of quick judgements can lead to unconscious bias, and research has shown that it stands to have negative effects when it comes to recruitment and decision-making at work.

So… how do you deal with it?

Acknowledge it

First, accept that unconscious bias is a thing – it’s part of human nature, and acknowledging it allows us to take the next step to tackle it.

Reflect

Monitor your behaviour and reactions to people, particularly extreme ones – were they justified, or could something else be at play?

Slow down

You’re more likely to fall victim to unconscious bias if you act quickly – making a fast decision or judgment can often benefit from a little more analysis.

Open up

If you have people that belong to different cultures and backgrounds at work, spend time with them and grow your cultural competence – it’ll make you more understanding of different nationalities.

Promote equality

Create a level playing field for your team by implementing rules that apply to everyone – banning interruptions in meetings to ensure everyone has a say and sticking to a roster for ‘housekeeping’ tasks will reduce the possibility of gender stereotyping and bias, for example.

Speak up

If you become aware of any unconscious bias among any of your team members, tactfully broach the subject. If you notice that a certain type of task is always handed out to males, or females, or Maltese members in a team of mixed nationalities, for example, you need to speak up.

Related

Team members / Unsplash

5 ways business leaders can celebrate Employee Appreciation Day in 2024

28 February 2024
by Fabrizio Tabone

Employee recognition and appreciation can go a long way in helping teams feel more motivated and engaged, boosting performance.

5 ways business leaders can avoid being labelled ‘a bad boss’

22 February 2024
by Fabrizio Tabone

Employees need to have full faith in their leaders, but how can they do so if they are not being ...

The future of intercultural leadership: AI and cultural intelligence

20 February 2024
by Viviana Premazzi

Knowing the impact of AI on the skills-market and the possibilities it offers, as well as the limitations of AI, ...

Practising mindfulness at work – how being present can make you a more effective leader

16 February 2024
by Martina Bartolo Parnis

In these stressful times, being aware of your thoughts and reactions can have real benefits.

Close Bitnami banner
Bitnami