Unconscious Bias: 10 Things

Leaders should aim to be self-aware and work hard to ensure that each of their people and teams can reach its full potential. It is important to acknowledge that every leader has unconscious bias…

Unconscious Bias: 10 Things
Do not index
Do not index
An interesting part of being in a group—or in groups of people in groups—is that someone is always different. Someone always has a different way (whether subtle or dramatic) of doing things or of looking at life or a problem.
Highly functioning and effective groups are able to harness this diversity. They maximize each individual to create a collective of amazing potential. These groups quickly realize that it takes hard work, unity, and alignment to achieve mutually beneficial success.
Other groups take the easier route. They intentionally or accidentally eliminate difference. These less diverse groups may achieve some success, but they miss out on their full potential and lose valuable voices along the way.
Leaders should aim to be self-aware and work hard to ensure that each of their people and teams can reach its full potential. It is important to acknowledge that every leader has unconscious bias, behaviors they do not notice, that are subtle, and that can have an unexpected and unintended impact.

The 10: What I Have Learned About Unconscious Bias

  1. 360 Feedback – I have done this exercise several times in my career. In each experience, I learned something new about myself and how I was affecting people differently than intended. It helped me recognize my biases and how they could derail me or my team.
  1. Close the Gap – There are many things I am not good at or am not strong at. Recognizing this, I intentionally hire people who not only fill those gaps but can protect me from myself. I find having a diverse team ensures we cover all the bases and also are able to think about many different cool and amazing solutions.
  1. Patience and Listening – I tend to think and talk fast, but I’ve come to realize that not everyone operates and communicates this way. I’ve learned that if I move too fast, I miss valuable insight. If I move too fast, I miss recognizing opportunity. If I move too fast, I limit potential. If I move too fast, someone leaves, someone I need.
  1. Nonverbal Cues – Many smart people I have worked with are super polite, so they may not say something directly. Often, they won’t say anything at all. Using my emotional intelligence training from earlier in my career, I pay close attention to nonverbal cues. They are often very informative and help me adjust where needed to deliver better leadership support and business results.
  1. Ask Clarifying Questions – Sometimes it is hard to read nonverbal cues, so I ask additional questions. These questions often tease out diverse ideas that are critical in making important business decisions.
  1. Be Open – Having a group of trusted mentors, employees, and friends can really help you progress personally and professionally. If you can be open about who you are, what biases you have, and how you operate, this group can be there to protect you, help you learn, and help you and your team(s) grow.
  1. Acknowledge and Embrace – If you have accidentally affected someone through your own unconscious bias, acknowledge it and make it right with the person. Then change your behavior.
  1. Forgive Yourself and Grow – It is important to remember that your biases do not define you. If you recognize them, learn from them, and adjust your behavior, those biases will go away. It is important to forgive yourself of the unintended impact those biases may have had on other people.
  1. Forgive Others and Move On – All of us have had bias affect us in our careers and life. Sometimes, people know they are biased and don’t care; often, people don’t see their own bias. In all cases, I find it is best to forgive them and move on emotionally. Giving someone control over your emotions and mind is unhealthy and does not serve your personal and/or professional aspirations.
  1. Be a Positive Force for Others – Supporting, listening, mentoring, and helping others understand the importance of their voice is crucial. When I’ve done this effectively, I’ve seen people really get excited and see the full potential that they can bring to their team(s). Knowing your voice has been heard can be extremely powerful.
People will always do business with people. Some people will have amazing life and career success. I posit that people who have amazing success pay attention to who they are, their biases, and the people around them, and are genuinely mindful and respectful of others. They focus on mutually beneficial success, not limited and exclusive ways of thinking and operating.
I challenge all of us to be thoughtful and intentional about learning what our biases are and finding ways to reach our goals as we listen, adapt, and lift those around us.

Ready to take the next big step for your business?

Join other 2,490+ entrepreneurs, CX pros, and gamers who get my weekly newsletter now!


Written by

Jonathan Shroyer
Jonathan Shroyer

Chief CX Officer at Arise Gaming