This week, Eliot and Jodi discuss Taylor’s car shopping experience, implicit bias, and the benefits of curiosity.
Why is that important for business?
As Taylor’s story illustrates, ignoring a decision maker is an excellent way to lose a sale. Who we choose to ignore often relates to our implicit biases, about who is important and who is not.
(Check out this episode of the NPR podcast, Hidden Brain, for more on implicit bias).
The hardest part of addressing your biases is that you cannot actually self-diagnose. They feel like rational conclusions, not biases, and are hard to see, let along overcome. Nobody wants to see themselves as the person who makes these judgments, yet they continue to happen, and they cost us more than just sales.
So how do we deal with these biases if we don’t even know they are there? The best first step is to start all interactions by being curious and seeking to understand. And the better you know something, the more curious you need to be; you have to counter-steer your own knowledge. Bias often feels like knowledge; be curious instead.
It can also help to seek outside observers who can see issues with a fresh set of eyes. Asking for feedback from different areas of your business – suppliers, workers, and customers ? can help leaders see their blind spots. Make an effort to do outreach and get feedback about work you didn’t get – what went wrong? And when someone asks a question, direct the answer to the person that asked.
And most importantly, be curious about your own biases. You can’t resolve a problem if you adamantly refuse to acknowledge that you have one.
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