Basic survival when you are young is about trusting familiar and not trusting unfamiliar. A baby trusts that its mother will care for them and a stranger will make them cry as they do understand or trust what they will bring. The brain sorts familiar and unfamiliar and then starts to create memories that get locked down into biases.
We rarely perceive things objectively as our unconscious bias will step in and fill any blanks. We often think we can make a decision visually alone as we have enough knowledge from previous experiences to know that it is right.
We need to be conscious of our bias, otherwise we will limit our choices in life and we will limit potential in others.
The data we have on what’s familiar can be limiting and thus give us too many shortcuts as to what is good or bad.
There are different types of unconscious bias to be aware of:-
- Like me
The like me bias is when we have an affinity with another so therefore they will be OK in the role or job, because they are like me.
Confirmation bias is when you have heard something in your past that therefore confirms that bias. An example “Left handed people are more creative…”
Anchor bias is when you make a decision based on the first information you see. This can be very damaging in recruitment, candidates can be decided based on their salary as this might be the first information you see.
Being aware of bias and slowing down are all good ways to ensure that your unconscious bias does not lead you.
Try making one small change on a regular basis, ask another person to lead a meeting, seek advice from new people alter your preferences to which newspaper you read or to which programmes you watch.
When you next open your email, have fresh eyes on the subjects and the sender, do not let your unconscious bias lead which one you open first.
Please do get in touch for a workshop on unconscious bias email@example.com
Simon Sinek talks about the balance of trust and performance. He gives the scenario of working with the Navy Seals.
There are two levels of trust as far as they are concerned:-
- “On the battlefield would you trust some-one with your life” – therefore saying their performance was very high
- “Off the battlefield would you trust that person with your wife” – do they have high performance levels but very low trust levels
If you look at the table below where would you place the members of your team.
- High Performer/High Trust – might seem ideal, however they will possibly want to explore new challenges and will be hard to keep
- Low Performer/Low Trust – might not be worth the investment of your time to develop, it will take lots of time and emotional energy
- The most interesting column is the High Trust, you can develop Performance, with skills training and you already have a committed member of the team
- The Low Trust column you should fear, especially the High Performer with Low Trust, how did they get there?
Reward performance on its own is creating an environment of toxicity where everyone just thinks for themselves and not others.
High Trust is a harmonious atmosphere where skills can be developed in a safe comfortable environment.
As a leader you can develop both, and it is worth categorising your team to identify the approach.
- Performance – upskilling from a technical perspective – tends to be hard skills
- Trust – every relationship is underpinned by Trust, so taking time out to really get to know your team members. Invest in harnessing rapport and understanding them.
Please do contact nuggets for a workshop on working with your team as a leader firstname.lastname@example.org
The definition of unconscious bias is unsupported judgements.
We have the conscious mind where we apply logic and make rational decisions. The unconscious mind has a vaster volume of information and we tend to use it to make snap decisions, which are not often right.
The information in the unconscious mind is made up of shortcuts, personal experiences, our own background and cultural background. We create filters with this information and they often formulate from visual cues.
The cues can be gender, height, similarity or even their name. I once met some-one who said they had never met a Bev they had liked before (an outspoken open bias). More often as the bias is unconscious nothing will be said and you may not even be aware that you are making a judgement.
This instinctive use of our mind is not based on any analysis and therefore creates many categories of bias. We often favour our own groups, this is known as affinity bias. We have an affinity with a team member and we may support them with positive micro behaviours. Praise after a meeting and the occasional coffee as you enjoy their company. If we don’t have an affinity we may use negative micro behaviours, picking up on every detail within an email and not supporting them within meetings.
We cannot stop unconscious bias however we can become aware of it and begin to challenge it and address it.
- Slow decision making down
- Reconsider the reasons of your first initial reaction or response
- Question any cultural stereotypes
- Monitor each other and call it out, if you think there is a bias
We can address unconscious bias by greater self awareness. Please do get in touch for a workshop on the topic email@example.com
My daughter and I have collected for period poverty for a year. We have learnt a lot about reaching out to charities and the generosity of friends.
It all started with an advert on the television for sanitary towels. There was a statistic on period poverty and I have to say in my “Surrey bubble” it was not something I was aware of. Sitting with my daughter we talked about the reality of not being able to afford what we accept as essentials. We recoiled at the indignity and the circumstances that as woman you could find yourself in.
The next day I researched further and was shocked at some of the statements and facts:-
- Period poverty has forced more than a quarter of females to miss work or school
- 1 in 10 cannot afford products
- 1 in 7 borrow products
- If you have 450 periods in a lifetime and on average the cost is £128 a year
- Every time you have a period an average cost could be £11.00
- The average cost for a packet of 20 pads or tampons is £2.37
The first charity I found was “Bloody Good Period” which officially at the time had not received charitable status subsequently they have now with the rise in media coverage. I reached out to them to set myself up as a collector of products. They were predominantly covering London, however they gave me a contact to liaise with.
Bloody Good Period focus heavily on Asylum seekers, who only receive £37.75 per week. This amount does not reach very far, and the main priority for that money would be food.
We decided to host a coffee morning with friends and ask them to bring products to donate. The joy is receiving products and not getting involved with money with your friends. I was amazed at how keen everyone was to get involved and the scale of the first collection.
After the success of the coffee morning we needed to find appropriate places to donate. Our first drop was to Asylum seekers at Elmbridge. Over the year we provided three donations to them, however it was an hours drive and the charity were not overwhelmingly welcoming, which again is an eye opener. In my naivety I stereo typed anyone that worked in charity must be so warm and welcoming. Instead you can meet reserve and a slight weariness about who you are.
My next stage was to reach out to the Guildford MP Anne Milton. Whatever your view of politics there are some really hard working MPs who believe in giving back to their constituents. Anne gave us the name of a more local charity, Guildford Action. Initially hard to get in touch with, you have to persevere and be persistent. We now have a good system and they are very happy with the donations and even posted a picture of us on their Facebook page.
The church support Asylum seekers and we have found the Guildford diocese very welcoming. St Saviours in the centre of Guildford support 5 or 6 Syrian families.
Half way through the year we received an email from Anne Milton’s office letting us know that Nadhim Zahawi MP, Children and Families Minister, that the Government will provide free sanitary products to all girls in England’s primary schools from early next year. This builds on a previous announcement that the Government will do the same for all girls in England’s secondary schools and colleges.
We send a stock sheet to Bloody Good Period after every collection, this can be time consuming sitting on the floor counting pads and naming brands. My family are now quite used to every couple of months a hallway full of sanitary towels.
As we reached our anniversary we compiled our statistics to share with our very generous friends. Seeing the figures on a chart was very rewarding for my daughter and I.
Giving back is not straightforward, and you have to work at the systems that will work for you. It needs to be an easy process and work with people who value you what you are doing. Share your journey with the people that donate and make sure you have a partner involved as there are highs and lows and great to have a supporter at all times.
Ultimately we know that our collections have brought self respect back to a lot of women and we will continue in 2020.
Last week I recorded four nugget videos.
I worked with The Lifestyle Video Company who were professional and most importantly fun and relaxing.
The theme of the videos was “How to make learning stick?”.
Matt Pereria from the Lifestyle Video Company guided us by what worked in his experience. He suggested a series of videos with content that linked to each other. The timing was also crucial, Matt advised us to work towards 60 seconds or less for each film.
He said the key was good planning and lots of rehearsal, create a script and practise so that it felt as natural as possible.
Matt said we were to think about what we wanted to sell to a client, what would a conversation sound like to a key contact. Most importantly what could we do for them? He said take time to think about their pain points, and how we could problem solve for them.
“People in the nicest possible way don’t care about your business, they only care about what your business can do for them”
We did not want to end up with just a lovely video selling our business with lots of features and no obvious benefit.
Our message needed to be what we can give others and a call to action.
We came up with:- “Make learning stick!”
Businesses want learning and development that is going to cause minimum disruption, and they want to see a return on investment. They need to know that it has made a difference and that the content will be remembered and implemented.
Below is my summary of what I learnt from the filming:-
- 60 seconds or less – get the timing right
- Solve their problems
- Don’t just sell features
- Link the videos – theme the content
- Be yourself and enjoy it
- Project your business and you
- Be confident
- Include a call to action – what next…
- Have a supporter – friend or colleague watching
- Work with a professional video making company
Please do get in touch to “make learning stick” firstname.lastname@example.org
For a professional video get in touch with Matt Pereira at https://www.thelifestylevideocompany.co.uk
The quote “No-one knows you better than yourself…” comes from the personality framework Myers Briggs.
Based on psychological type, developed by Carl Jung, the questionnaire Myers Briggs Type Indicator was created by Katherine Briggs and Isobel Myers a mother and daughter in the 1940s.
The questionnaire has great credentials in terms of its validity however it goes in and out of fashion in the training industry.
The attraction of the framework is that it is so practical and being self assessment people relate to it very easily.
The usual challenge around the questionnaire is that you have the potential to be any one of the 16 profiles. Therefore people make the assumption that it is complex and not very applicable to their working life.
As a facilitator of Myers Briggs I have seen changes within teams and really positive results. My recommendation is always to go through the process as a group, the more discussion around the preferences the more they come to life. The tool provides a safe vocabulary for the team to use without being personal or eliciting defensive behaviour from others.
Working with a team you can also see a dominance eg. is there a group profile that they are projecting which can effect the clients they work with and the environment they create to work in.
We recently worked with a Bid team and we could profile the company they were hoping to work with. It was hugely beneficial as to how they approached meetings and even down to the venue they selected.
Myers Briggs can be so practical and is a great confidence boost individually to your team members and to the whole group.
We use an interactive and colourful approach that breaks down the complexity and gets a team to see clearly how they can enjoy their profiles and have fun with the tool.
Please do get in touch for a Myers Briggs Workshop – email@example.com
When a Doctor diagnoses a condition, do you immediately change your habits. We have to want to change and that is our own private relationship with kindness.
We have to be kind to ourselves and understand why we want to be. When you are on a plane they always ask you to apply the oxygen mask to yourself first before helping others. The priority is you.
It all begins with changing our habits and ensuring that they are natural and sustainable. If you want to stop smoking, sudden abstinence is not kind however, going from 10 cigarettes to 3 is easier and kinder.
From a business perspective, you are overwhelmed by your emails, so you have a habit of processing them all at the same time. Understand this methodology is not kind to yourself, prioritise them first. Set a time limit on processing them.
In order to change your habits you have to understand your triggers. When do you find the desire to break from the pattern.
Trigger for a smoker might be a night out. Before you set out for the evening only take the cigarettes you intend to smoke, don’t let the trigger break the good work you have done already.
When you are busy the trigger for your emails is the alert that you have new mail, simply turn it off and be kind to you.
The perception in the past has often been that being kind to yourself is indulgent however we cannot truly be kind to others unless we understand how to be kind to ourselves. Kindness is unconditional and if you get in the habit of doing it, as with anything it will become natural.
Think about people you love and decide whether you would wish kindness on them and turn the tables and think how loved you are.
Be kind to you…
Please do get in touch for 1:1 coaching firstname.lastname@example.org