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Overcome Biases and Blind Spots in Decision Making
The best decision makers actively counter the unconscious and hidden biases that hold them and their organizations back. The author details several steps for doing that, starting with "increase self-awareness." Being conscious of reactions, responses, and judgments made throughout a typical day, and noting the different situations and individuals, can help. When people encounter differences, they sometimes make judgments, writes the author, Dr. Melinda Fouts, an executive coach. If that happens, people should ask themselves: Is this one of my biases? Is my judgment warranted? A classic example of this is gender bias, where a person might believe that one gender can do a certain job better than another gender.

Second, people should identify who and what makes them uncomfortable. This requires a certain amount of curiosity. One should ask: "What is it really that makes me respond this way to this person? Is there a bias toward them and, if so, what is that bias?" Also, people should recognize how comfortable or uncomfortable they are when someone else has a completely different view on an issue. Being aware of any discomfort with their views will provide insight into any unconscious biases. Third, decision-makers should educate themselves on the many different biases. These include “confirmation bias,” where people seek information that supports their beliefs; "anchoring bias," where people are influenced by the first idea presented; and "overconfidence bias,” where an individual thinks their solution is the right one.
Forbes (10/09/18) Fouts, Melinda
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NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018 EDITION
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