"He has taken childcare leave and is unlikely to be promoted." "She has a two-year-old child, so she wouldn't be able to stay overnight." Have you ever had such a selfish belief in the members? This kind of "unconscious belief / biased view" is called unconscious bias.
This keyword has come to the forefront when Google started an employee education activity called "Unconscious Bias." Behind this is the pervasive recognition that diversity is important for the development of an organization. With management based on a uniform perspective, it is difficult for each person to play an active role. By accepting various perspectives and diverse values, new ideas are born. The first step in doing so is to recognize and address the existence of unconscious bias.
The author has conducted unconscious bias training centered on more than 50,000 leaders such as Recruit, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, and Hitachi. Based on that achievement and experience, this book is a condensed version of the knowledge that leaders want to acquire. How to recognize and deal with unconscious bias? What is the secret to building a team that is not swayed by bias? The author explains these questions in an easy-to-understand manner with "common cases".
Whether you are aware of the unconscious bias or not will make a big difference in your own growth and your team's growth. I would like to recommend this book as a must-read for future leaders.
The main points of this book
The true identity of the unconscious bias, which is an "unconscious belief," is a self-defense mind. Communication within the team changes significantly when leaders become aware of their existence and deal with it.
In order to deal with unconscious bias, it is important to improve self-awareness by looking at "the other person's nonverbal message".
In order to build a team that is not swayed by unconscious beliefs and prejudices, it is important for leaders and members to casually discuss the theme of unconscious bias on a daily basis.
The true identity of "Unconscious Bias"
Unconscious bias floods the workplace
"I thought it was good for the members, but it backfired." "I hurt the members." Have you ever had such an experience?
That is because there was a gap in the interpretation with the members. People are obsessed with "unconscious prejudice," "unconscious belief," and "unconscious biased view." This is called "unconscious bias".
The true identity of the unconscious bias is "self-defense." When the brain unknowingly makes an interpretation that is convenient for oneself in order to avoid stress, a belief occurs, causing a misinterpretation.
I'm right, not bad, I want to show myself well. Such self-defense words and deeds are a providence of nature and are common to everyone. The problem is that you don't notice your unconscious bias. Communication within the team changes significantly when leaders become aware of their existence and deal with it.
What kind of harm does it cause to the team?
What are the problems caused by unconscious bias? For example, in an organization, relationships deteriorate, individual and organizational performance deteriorates, and non-compliance behavior occurs. In addition, individuals may become negative and unable to take on challenges, or become more frustrated.
The following is an example based on the experiences of the leader (Chief A). At a meeting, Section A unknowingly changed his attitude toward members depending on his sales performance. When a member whose sales performance is not good is late, he scolds him loudly without asking why. Next, he said to the top sales members who were late, "What happened?" From this, the members felt that they were only seen by the sales results. A few months later, the yelled members requested retirement, and several members requested a transfer.
In this way, the words and actions of leaders have a great impact on people and organizations. "Are you unconsciously prejudiced?" "Are you not prejudiced?" Focusing on these things is the first step to improving the organization.[Must read point!] Notice your "unconscious bias"
Beliefs lie behind my conviction
Being aware of one's bias and being aware of how that bias affects others is called "self-awareness" in this book. It is essential for leaders to improve this self-awareness.
The more convinced a person is, the less suspicious he is of his thoughts. However, the unconscious bias lies behind the conviction that "usually this is the case" and "it is natural to think so".
Be aware of the other party's non-verbal message
Here's one way to improve your self-awareness. It is to be aware of the other person's non-verbal message. Emotions can be broadly divided into "pleasant" and "unpleasant." "Pleasure" is a positive emotion such as happiness. "Unpleasant" is a negative emotion such as sadness.
Leaders must especially look at the "discomfort" of their members. When a person is surrounded by unpleasant feelings, it is difficult for him / her to be positive and his / her behavior is suppressed. Eventually, that leads to various workplace problems.
Feelings of "discomfort" appear in the other person's facial expressions, reactions, and attitudes. For example, "smile". Suppose you're talking to a member and your smile disappears. At this time, do you notice the change in the emotions of the members and think that your words and actions may have had a negative effect on the members' hearts? Therefore, the presence or absence of the leader's self-awareness is asked. If you are not interested in the members, you will not be able to notice changes in facial expressions and emotions.
There are five points to catch the emotions of members from non-verbal messages.
・ Look at the other person's "eyes": look down, lose eye contact, or swim
・ Look at the other person's facial expression: The facial expression is stiff, wrinkles between the eyebrows, and the mouth is tightly closed.
・ Pay attention to the other party's "voice / speaking style": The voice becomes quieter or the ending becomes quieter.
・ See the other person's "attitude / gesture": Arms folded, depressed, or unnatural hand movements
・ See the change of the other party's "reaction": No reply or less reaction
The facial expression, attitude, and reaction of the other party are "emotional messages." If you feel any discomfort, I would like to look back on whether I had any assumptions.
Other ways to improve self-awareness include "recording unconscious bias", "not trying to manipulate the other person at will", "calming down with emotions", and "not being too obsessed with the immediate future". , Go back to the purpose. "
Unconscious bias appears in "two words and actions"
People are unconsciously branding or imposing
Unconscious bias is hard to notice for yourself. However, there are situations where bias is likely to appear. It's a time of self-defense, prioritizing your own convenience and trying to fulfill your needs. At such times, people unknowingly take actions such as "decide" and "press".
Branded words and deeds
Introducing an example of "setting of values". When a woman in the sales department returned from childcare leave, one leader reassigned her to the general affairs department, which has less sudden overtime and less business trips. This was an action I took for her. However, the woman was preparing to return to the sales department, which greatly reduced her motivation. In this way, the leader's "judgment that he thought was good" and "consideration of the members' feelings" may have a negative effect on the members.
The important thing is not to assume that "it seems normal", but to move away from your own values and approach the other's values. "Each person has different ideas and circumstances depending on the time." Leaders must be aware of this.
Imposing words and deeds
The following is an example of a leader imposing an ideal. The busy leader entrusted the work to a member. When the leader checked the progress of the work a few days later, the work was not progressing as expected. So the leader said: "Why is it taking so long? It's an easy task." The leader has imposed his ideals.
This is influenced by the unconscious bias that the other person can do as perfectly as he does. Just because you can do it easily doesn't mean that others are the same. By imposing one's ideals, the relationship of trust may be broken and the motivation of the members may be lowered.
"All the members, including myself, are not perfect, you can fail." "The members don't have to be able to do the same as you." It is important to have this kind of heart.
How to deal with unconscious bias
Be aware that each person feels differently
One step in dealing with the myriad of unconscious biases is to become "aware." For example, how would you feel if you were told, "You're a serious person!" There are various ways to receive it, such as "happy" and "shocked by being said to be a boring person".
The other person does not always have the same values as you. It's up to the other person to accept the words that they thought were good. It all depends on the "aftertaste (pleasant / unpleasant)" of "how did the other person feel?" It is the minimum consideration to be aware of "what makes the other person uncomfortable?" And "each person has a different way of thinking."
Be aware of questions for the future
One of the things that tends to fall into unconscious bias is "determining the cause." When a problem or trouble occurs, the cause is decided.
When a problem occurs, if you look too much at the "cause" and "why?", You will spend a lot of time searching for the rough and the criminal. When the discussion gets stuck, it is important to ask questions such as "what is important?", "What should I do?" And "future".
How to become a team that is not swayed by each other's bias
Make the team a "common language"
By casually discussing the theme of unconscious bias on a daily basis, the "pressing" and "decision" will naturally disappear, and the communication style will change. The author recommends that the team work on two things:
(1) Make it the watchword of the team
The first step in making it a common language is to feel free to put it into words with the slogan "Is this my unconscious bias?" This custom will eventually take root in the culture of teams and organizations.
(2) Create a place to talk regularly
Having a place to talk to each other under the theme of "Unconscious bias that I noticed recently" is a wonderful place to know each other's perspectives.
Team up the feedback loop
Both leaders and members may find it difficult to notice unconscious bias. That is "when you fall into groupthink."
Groupthink is when everyone on the team is unaware of their bias. This has the positive side of being easy to work with as a team. However, there is also the bad side that even if the team goes in the wrong direction, no one notices it, doubts it, and pushes forward. This groupthink influences organizational non-compliance.
The workaround is to listen to "negative feedback" that may seem particularly inconvenient. It is important for the team to run a feedback loop, saying, "Let's listen to these negative voices."
Value the values of members
Sharing "what we value (values)" among the members who work together leads to the creation of a team that is not swayed by each other's bias. By asking, "What is the moment when you feel rewarded at work?", You can confirm each other's values.
Instead of thinking that "unconscious bias is troublesome," think "let's be aware of unconscious bias as much as possible." By doing so, you should be a team that can perform at its best without being swayed by bias.
Recommendation of reading
From over 200 unconscious biases, this book covers 15 typical unconscious biases that leaders should know. Just knowing common examples such as confirmation bias and the Einsterung effect will help you to notice the existence of unconscious bias in you. We hope that you will deepen your understanding of unconscious bias in this book and put the coping method into practice. Being aware of the unconscious bias is the first step towards becoming the best leader.