Top 3 Biases: Every HR Manager’s Worst Nightmare!
Our brains are wired differently. Our perceptions tend to be skewed. It’s not really our fault though. You see, since the beginning of time we’ve had this innate nature to be curious and absorb every ounce of novelty that’s around us. Thus, quickening the process of brain development with every coming generation.
Now, in order to keep up with this pace, our magnificent human brain has decided to leap and take certain cognitive shortcuts. Every individual is now supposedly believed to possess and utilize the ability of ‘knowing-it-all’ and magically filling in the gaps of perception. Otherwise, our system “malfunctions”.
So what are these shortcuts? Psychologists refer to them as Cognitive Biases.
I like to refer to them as — Every HR’s nightmare!
These biases distort memory, fill in the gaps of reality with fabricated information, and give us the false confidence that we are making informed decisions.
Let’s take a look at the 3 most prevalent ones!
- System Justification Bias — In simple words — ‘The resistance to change’ bias. With everyone discussing innovations in mindset change and development, hanging on to a bias like this will definitely kill the spirit of HR. Those who uphold this bias generally tend to say “we’ve always done it this way”. A typical statement from an individual portraying a fixed mindset. They believe their existing methods are far better, legitimate and capable of providing fruitful results than trying out new alternatives.
… Doomsday, not too far away for these kind.
- Confirmation Bias — Aka ‘The Blind Manager’ bias. One of the deadliest of them all. It’s the tendency to search for or interpret information in a way that confirms one’s existing beliefs. One tends to look for information that is in line with what they already believe to be true. It’s important to be aware of this especially while conducting interviews and performance reviews. Ignoring or dismissing viewpoints that do not confirm what you think, feel or believe can not only jeopardize another’s career but also land you in a lot of trouble.
… Keep your mind open. It shall do you good.
- Cognitive Blind Spots — Failing to recognize cognitive biases in itself is considered to be a bias! Now this is interesting. A study done by Stanford University found that individuals see the existence and operation of cognitive biases much more in others than in themselves! Sometimes the easiest thing to do is to ignore our shortcomings, right? You are now aware of its existence. Would you rate yourself “better than average” at recognizing and dismissing them?
… I’ll leave this here for you to ponder upon.
These biases sound highly dangerous right? Let’s try to wipe them away. One step at a time.
- First up: “Awareness” — Being alert and mindful of these biases existing.
- Second: “Learning” — Knowing what each bias stands for and the implications it can have in your work force.
- Third: “Implementation” — Convert learning into actions. Making a conscious effort to be wary and impartial during interactions with others.
Keeping these in mind… you’ll be good to go!