Weekly Column

Overcoming three types of biases

When attempting to overcome bias, like anything else, knowing is half the battle. While many of us are familiar with the concept of bias, having a deeper understanding of what it is and how it manifests is often the first step in circumventing the negative ramifications. Bias can limit the potential for growth, innovation, and success on both an individual and community wide level. It can affect who we trust, what we value, and limit the scope of possibilities.

Intercultural competent leaders are needed for strong communities

A couple decades ago, a movement for tolerance wove itself across the nation. A few years ago, everything needed to be “politically correct.” In 2016, implicit bias moved to the top of political conversations.

From political affiliations to spiritual beliefs, and from generational gaps to ethnic diversity, the one thing we have in common is that our conscious and nonconscious bias play a role in the choices we make every day.

From big cities to small towns, from corporations to small businesses, biases limit the potential of growth, innovation, and success:

Are we biased?

Are we biased? The short answer is yes – everyone is, like it or not. Our brains categorize people based on what we’ve learned from our family, community, television, social media, and other sources.

Our brains, in part, function like a filing cabinet where we store “information” – accurate or not.

For example, when I was a kid, I was certain the only way ice water would be cold was if it was stirred with a fork. Yeah, I know, not rational. But my dad always stirred his ice water with a fork, so it had to be true.

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