This year’s International Women’s Day was all about biases – and not what they are or which we have, rather how to break them! To break the bias does not mean to alter your views completely. It does not mean you have to do everything differently. And it does not mean you need to change who your are! Break the bias is about being more open minded, trying new things and broadening your horizon. And it means to increase equality and equity.
All of us have to break the bias. We all have biases and we need to understand them and learn how to not let them influence our decisions impacting others. But how can you do this? What are the tools that help us breaking our own biases? There are many ways to break the bias. Today I want to share with you our top three tips to break the bias!
Ignore your inner voice
How often have you heard this; listen to your inner voice, what does it say? Let me tell you, to break the bias, we should stop listening to our inner voice! This voice is the reflection or your own experiences, of what you have been taught when growing up and what you never questioned because it seems to be “right” to you. I dare to say, our inner voice is what fuels bias. Having said this, there is nothing wrong with our inner voice. This voice helps us to make the decisions that are right for us. It helps us to find answers to questions life throws at us and allows us to be authentic with ourselves and others.
Although, as the inner voice is the right guidance for us, it is not for others. We have not had the same experience as others. We did not learn the same lessons growing up and we are asking different questions. Therefore, our inner voice has to be ignored when other people are involved or impacted. Don’t let it misguide you by making quick assumption which might not apply to others the same way they do to you.
Here is a simple trick to do that:
Always ask yourself: Does this person have the same experience as me?
Just do it – and do it differently
Now that we are ignoring our inner voice, we can look into another trick to break a bias. Often we are caught up in our daily life and keep doing things the same way we always did it. Just take something simple as going to work. You might always take the same bus, the same route or walking the same way. What if you changed your route? What if you take an earlier bus or walked a different way? You have to go to work anyway, so why not doing it differently. Hence, you might find yourself discovering a new neighbourhood or get to know a new shop!
The same applies at work. Try to do your tasks differently, interview the person you would usually reject. Go to a work event on a topic you are not familiar with. Or ask someone to go for lunch from another team at work.
Break the bias by doing it and doing it differently.
Knowing that we don’t know, is one of the most important parts of breaking the bias. Therefore, help break the bias not only for yourself but others as well by asking simple questions.
For example, if you do not agree on a statement that someone makes, don’t act too quickly by countering the statement with your opinion or knowledge. Ask the person why she or he made this statement. This can be done simply by saying:
That is very interesting, tell me more!
You will be amazed at the reaction you will receive. It not only allows you to sincerely show your curiosity but you might learn something new on the topic or the person.
These are just a few tools and tips that you can apply on a daily basis to break your bias at home, with your friends or at work.
What is your trick to break the bias? Share with us in the comments section!