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Unconscious Bias in Business and How It Affects You. Entrepreneur MBA Podcast 3.50.

Summary: In today’s Entrepreneur MBA podcast guest, Kimberly Lewis from Motivational Muse speaks with Stephen Halasnik from Financing Solutions about unconscious biases in business and how it affects the company. They talk about the different types of biases people might have and how to adjust to these biases. They also talk about why it is important to have a lot of diversity in a company 

What is the goal?business insider bias

You want to have a diversity equity business program in your company because it is proven that this program generates 30 percent more in revenue than companies without that diversity program. Why is it any different if you have a diversity equity business program or not? It makes a big difference if you have a diversity program because you bring in more people. When you bring different people to the table, these people have different experiences, ideas, and can talk about a variety of different things. You want different experiences at the table because if you have the same experiences you are not going to be successful if you do not have a person well equipped for any type of obstacle that may trouble you. 

Diversity and Biases

These two concepts go hand and hand. There are two types of biases that you can have in a business. One type of bias is called the horns bias. This is when you look at someone negatively based on their own perception of that individual. An example is judging someone based on their mental disability instead of treating them like any other employee. 

The other type of bias is called halo bias which is when you are being biased because this person reminds you of yourself. This is a bias when someone is from the same town or went to the same college as you. Men are promoted based on promise and women are promoted based on the promotion. As a man, they could simply just remind you of yourself and they get promoted while women have to perform for the job much more so. This is simply a bias based on genders. Diversity such as ethnicity, sexual orientation, and gender adds more bias. 

When interviewing someone, you should ask for examples of what they did before. That way, you should be judging them based on their capabilities and their actual past experiences rather than what you think they might be capable of doing. If you think there is a bias you should work around it and not make a misstatement that you will end up regretting if you got it wrong. 

There are a lot of biases based on religion that people make. For example, people develop biases based on their own experiences with people of a certain faith because they do not have the same quality of life or the belief system they have. Not everybody in a certain religion specifically falls into that category who is of that faith. 

How to improve with diversity?

You have to try to judge people independently. You have to look at people in a holistic manner which means not making a judgment on their college education or if they are attractive or not. The business power is in the hands of white males and they have the opportunity to open the door for women and individuals of color.  They need to look at people objectively and need diversity in their company. Everyone needs to be paid the same amount for a certain job regardless of what race or gender they are. 

Everyone has biases based on their experiences. People tend to have a bias and keep that bias until they can prove that the bias is true. They look for little things that can potentially prove why they made that bias in the first place. We can improve by throwing away these biases we have that prevent us from hiring different people who are very qualified at the job they do. We should ask ourselves if the bias is an honest assessment or is it something that we are making up.

Another thing that can decrease the number of biases we have is just accepting each other for how we are. Not only should we just evaluate people based on how skillful they are at the job but we should try to accept their culture and try to learn about it. For example, simple things such as asking what type of food they like or what type of music they like. These are qualities in a person that make them who they are and it might vary from person to person so it is always interesting to find what people are into. 

About Kimberly Lewis

Everyone has biases, but often we don’t realize it. Knowing your own biases will help you know if you need to defer from accepting a contract or working on removing those biases so that you can serve your clientele with integrity. As an entrepreneur, particularly of services like life coaching, you must be unbiased and non-judgmental, so it is important, to be honest with yourself.

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