A bias is a partiality that prevents objective consideration of an issue or situation. Often, biases are unconscious. They can come from direct experience, or vicarious experiences (e.g. experiences of other people, stories, culture).
In the workplace, your biases and those of others can be harmful. It behooves you to be aware of yours and to be able to identify those of others. An example of a workplace bias may be: men (or women) are better leaders. If you or someone you work with has this bias, it’s easy to see the havoc it can cause.
What are your biases? Do you know? If not, give some thought to the perceptions and beliefs you have about the people you work with. Then, come up with actual interactions you have had with them and determine if they confirm your perceptions and beliefs. If they do not, you may have a bias there that is best to be aware of.
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judgment: an opinion or decision that is based on careful thought; the act or process of forming an opinion or making a decision after careful thought; the act of judging something or someone; the ability to make good decisions about what should be done
All of us spend time and effort developing our ability to judge people and situations in a manner that serves us. Sometimes, however, judgment can impede us. It is important to have the discernment to identify the nature of our judgment. Is it fair or biased? Different situations call for different types of judgment. Some require fair and impartial judgment and some require judgment that serves our best interests.
We are emotional creatures and will always have our own ways of looking at things. Too often, however, when there is a need for stepping out of our biases, we do not. We let our emotional, and not always rational, thoughts influence our judgment. Time and effort are well spent in developing the ability to discern what forms the basis of our judgment. There are cases when our personal biases may serve us well. For example, when we are trying to strategize within the maze of office politics or to decide what is best for us. There are cases when impartial and fair judgment is called for. For example, when disciplining a team member or making a decision that will impact our team’s well being.
Take a look at your use of judgment. Are you discerning what is called for in each situation where you exercise it? Do you use your judgment effectively and exercise its power well?
photo: ddpavumba, FreeDigitalPhotos.net