I've been talking with several people from startup founders to product managers to individual contributors about bias and found that there is a fairly common misconception about bias—that we can become unbiased or that the best people to hire or manage and lead people are "unbiased".

Even my words reflect the idea that bias can be "minimized". I'd like to add a subtle but profound adjustment here in that we are all biased and that we can not minimize it; however, we can mitigate the risks by actively seeking advice and perspectives from people who have a different bias—that the best people have worked to understand what bias is and are capable of recognizing their own and other's unique bias. Bias-informed people seek divergent viewpoints and look for signals that both confirm/disprove their own world view to gain a more complete and holistic view of the space they are working in.

Here is a supplementary article that speaks to what bias really is, how it actually works, and surfaces some of the most profound risks and problems associated with bias.

https://psych.wustl.edu/news/understanding-your-biases

This article will help you develop a mental model of the workings of bias while the original linked article will help you learn about specific bias. The insights from these two articles will provide you with a powerful toolkit to turn bias into a powerful tool instead of something people try to suppress or avoid.

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I help businesses build, lead, and manage teams.

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Chris Caldwell

Chris Caldwell

I help businesses build, lead, and manage teams.

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