Leadership – Biases:
Planet, hemisphere, continent, nationality, state/region, county, city, area, neighborhood, race, religion, education, interests, activities, hobbies, family, transportation mode, disposition, age, male/female, parent, child, brother/sister, industry, job, physical size. These are twenty-six bias that you have. TWENTY SIX! There are even more no doubt, but that gives us a starting point. When you run across someone who says they are unbiased, gently point out the twenty six that I have identified above. Everyone has biases that are built in. Some provide opportunities, some provide challenges, some provide joy, and some provide pain. Each one of us sees and responds to life with biases. The main thing is to be aware of them and recognize how they affect our decision making. This is critically important when interacting with other people. You don’t like that guy because he reminds you of the kid who beat you up in grade school. Or maybe he is the guy who beat you up in school. You vowed to always despise him. STOP. How long ago was that? Did you ever consider that he might have grown up, matured and regret how he used to be? Does he even remember the event? Is he waiting to apologize to you? Is he bringing a new opportunity to you that could be the best thing that will ever happen for you? Think about this story from the bible. Saul was the best of the best when it came to being a Jew. Think Harvard Law School education (get over your bias to my example, it’s just an example. See what I mean about biases?). He was persecuting the new Christian believers and helping kill them! He is struck by Jesus presence on the way to Damascus and is totally transformed. Now he is blind and is led to Damascus by his companions. Ananias is instructed by the Lord to go to see Saul and put his hand on him so that he will receive his sight back. Saul was coming to Damascus to persecute Christians and now Ananias is supposed to help him? Ananias is obviously terrified and thinking “Lord are you SURE about this?” But he puts aside his bias and does as the Lord instructs setting Saul on his journey to becoming Paul. Paul would then go on to write most of the New Testament. What a transformation that occurred by recognizing and setting aside a bias. How are you going to respond to your biases today? Will you transform your organization and your life today or will you just let it control you like it has in the past. Letting go of some biases will open up opportunities that you have never seen before.