Assumptions and Biases – Are You Getting it Right?

assumptions and biasesA few weeks ago, I adopted a new dog from the Oregon Humane Society. As part of the adoption process, a collar and a few tags are provided. The collar happened to by pink. Off we went to the pet store to get a few more things including a harness and leash. There were no pink harnesses in her size. So, we purchased a lovely turquoise set. It works with the pink and I like the color. Then a funny thing started to happen. During our daily walks, almost everyone thinks she is a male, likely because she is wearing a blue harness and leash. Blue = male. A few get up closer and notice she is actually a female and correct themselves. It has been surprising to see the number of people making the incorrect assumption about her sex.

Whether you call it an assumption or a bias, people make a judgment based on experience or predisposition every day. In business, the ability to get it right has a significant impact on the culture and the success of the company. Checking the basis for the assumptions and making unconscious biases conscious can lead to better decision making. How are you checking assumptions and bias in your organization?


Posted in Change Management, Leadership.

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