How to Interrupt Bias in Teams

Dec 04, 2019

By Sunday Tollefson, MBA, PMP®

This week we talk about the recent Harvard Business Review article, "How the Best Bosses Interrupt Bias on Their Teams" - and why.

Today we are going to talk about

1. Why would they do that intentionally
2. How do they do it

But before we do that, I am delighted to announce that I have created a QUIZ for you to determine where you really are in your career based on your experience, influence, and impact. So be sure to check out the quiz and invest one minute to get your results right away. 

Let’s begin.

First, why should you interrupt bias on your team?

It’s simple, because “well managed diverse groups outperform homogenous ones and are more committed, have higher collective intelligence, and are better at making decisions and solving problems.”

Second, how do they do it? This is divided into three sections - hiring, managing, and developing.

When hiring, they:

• insist on a diverse pool,
• reject shared backgrounds,
• clarify objective role criteria,
• use skills-based interview questions.

When managing, they:

• rotate “office housework” rather than ask for volunteers,
• design and assign people to high value projects

acknowledge the value of invisible “extra work,”

• create and enforce policies for interruptions and "bropropriating,"
• schedule meetings at work to equalize access.

When developing their team, they:

• set rating benchmarks and have data to justify the rating
• separate performance from potential and personality from skill sets
• level the playing field regard self-promotion
• explain how training, promotion, and pay decisions will be made.

So those are the keys to interrupting bias on your teams. Now, you don’t have to be a manager to implement these. You can propose them to your manager or team, or help implement them to ensure that bias is interrupted and performance is given a runway, and when appropriate, a parade – or maybe just a promotion.

© Sunday Tollefson

Speaking of performance, be sure to take this quiz and share your result. What's your Career Stage? 




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