The first step is to acknowledge that bias does exists. Not just in your business but in society and in the heads of each and every person that is on this planet. Bias is not something new. Bias has existed since the beginning of time.
Let us start with a definition – Bias as defined in the Merriam-Webster dictionary is:
an inclination of temperament or outlook : a personal and sometimes unreasoned judgment : PREJUDICE
With a reasonable understanding that every person in your organization has their own bias on any number of topics and that your customers may have an equal if not greater array of uncommunicated biases. Your business needs a framework to navigate inside of so that the degree of use of personal bias is not the cause of internal or external distraction. In recent years, the attention to these concerns has become a challenge. When a judgement or bias is communicated by one individual without regard for the ramification of such information then the blatant disrespect for humanity is in play.
As we are all guilty of our own biases, that fact alone should in no way give broad release from respecting and considering others feelings, emotions and well-being. Part of the rise in “Emotional Intelligence” as a critical part of leadership and followership is the recognition of our own self bias, the management of our own self bias, the recognition of others and their bias and how to regulate to those biases.
As mentioned earlier, having an established framework in your organization as to why your business operates the way it does and how that must be behaviorally delivered will contribute significantly to the productive integration of differing opinions while not letting bias and judgement take control of your day-to-day business’s potential success.
The framework of a defined “Purpose” statement which clearly and concisely identify “Why” your business exists. Supporting your “Purpose” you need the passion behind the vision. Paint the picture so that everyone can see what the business is to look like and operate like. Adding to the vision, everyone needs to align with the core values and principles which govern the relationships of the business. I cannot over emphasize how having well-articulated and executed core values enable a business to grow but also attract the top talent. Teams of colleague’s desire to be part of something and the glue which holds them together is rooted in the “Purpose and Core Values” of the organization. When everyone is held to the common standard of the Core Values then individual bias is not discarded but placed into proper placement while engaged in the business. Outside of the business individual bias might have a different place in the acts and contributions of team members but during the work cycle, the organization’s core values, and directional purpose MUST be the guidance system everyone embraces completely.
This week observe situations in your business where bias has crept into the operations. It is there but sometimes it is hidden or disguised. It is better to find it before it finds you or your customer. If you don’t have a framework to guide the relationships internally and externally then this needs your first and immediate attention. As critical as revenue, expense control and profit are to the success of your business, the distraction costs of bias will damage your business permanently.
Need a Promise Guide to help you navigate to a solid Purpose and Core Values to guide your organization to the next level of success? Give JKL Associates a call at FL (407) 984-7246 or MI (313) 527-7945