#28 How To Avoid Unconscious Bias In Your Team

Feb 18, 10:00 AM

What operates out of sight can be very detrimental to individual and team performance. In this podcast we talk about how improving our self-awareness can help bring behaviours like our unconscious biases to the surface.

In this weeks episode Rachael & John tackle a key leadership challenge of dealing with unconscious bias within the team. Drawing on the leadership experience of their past three podcast guests: Kevin Urrutia, Philip Grant and Céline Williams they combine their leadership essentials which offer a strategy towards improving decision making, problem solving and team unity.

Our ability to make intuitive, quick fire decisions is an essential part of navigating our everyday lives; yet the downside is that our brains often mis-read the clues leading to unconscious bias which frequently prevents team members from being truly open to the ideas and perspectives of others. It occurs when we make spontaneous judgments about people or situations based on our past experiences, culture, background or exposure to social and main stream media.

Leadership Essentials: 

  1. Constantly Curious - What could be different if we maintained a state of mind that was constantly questioning? What if we allow our employees to work how they want to work, and what interests them? What opportunities might we discover? (Kevin Urrutia) 
  2. Considered - What about the impact of our behaviour on others? Everything starts from learning about yourself, and testing everything to destruction. What impact will your decisions have on the wider system? Taking some time to make and consider the impact of your decisions (Philip Grant)
  3. Critical Thinking - At times Teamwork should feel uncomfortable. If we decide to avoid conflict and challenge we settle for artificial harmony. As a Leader this presents a fantastic opportunity to create a safe space by having the courage to Role Model speaking with free-choice. (Céline Williams)

In the Coaching Approach (0:20:00) we catch up with the Senior Leadership Team whose teams are feeling siloed and whose leaders are not really communicating or behaving as a galvanised team. The issue of “trust within the team” is still of concern.

The common pro-nouns are “I” and “My,” where there is little focus on interests, or what is really important to the organisation as a whole, and not enough sharing of relevant information.

Team Coaching leads the team to think about their inter-dependancies and an effective way for them to solve their problems; they begin by sharing their individual stories, in an attempt to agree to a set of interests for the group.