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Biases that affect your management effectiveness

maninfrontofbuilding30337424.jpgBiases in the workplace can become the downfall of a great manager. When you favor one employee over another or you are discriminatory toward some of your employees, you do not deserve to be holding the position of a manager.

Sometimes you may suffer from unconscious bias. This is when you have bias that impacts your decision-making abilities and you may not be aware of it. Unconscious bias is developed from the time we are small children and we are introduced to the world around us. We rely on the preconceived notions of others that raised us or have had influence over us in our life.

More and more lawsuits are being brought against companies due to bias. Individuals are claiming that the manager or the entire company is bias toward a certain thing like race, gender, age. Some companies adopt that policy that unconscious bias does not exist, but several lawsuits are ruling in its favor. So what can you do to overcome bias?

# 1 - Harassment policy
- Every employer must have a harassment and discrimination policy that their employees are required to abide by. If an employee notices bias happening in the office, encourage them to come forward with it so you can quickly address and fix the problem.

# 2 - Explanations of bias and harassment - Some people really do not know what bias and harassment means. Managers should hold meetings to discuss the company's policies about it but they also need to site specific examples of bias and harassment. If you do not feel fully trained and comfortable talking about bias, hire a professional to come in and present the information to you. Your employees may be receptive to a fresh voice with more experience in this particular touchy subject matter.

# 3 - Take action - If you know you suffer from bias, you need to take action upon yourself. Seek out the advice of a counselor to help you overcome this weakness and learn how to be accepting of everyone. During this time when you are working on overcoming bias, send all of your decision-making responsibilities to other people within the organization. Place your HR department in charge of the hiring and firing of employees so you don't need to worry about your bias getting in the way of finding a good employee. When you are choosing a team or a person for a promotion, have another manager step in and give you a second opinion. Having an un-biased opinion will help you figure out if you have made the right decision or not. If you are unable to overcome your bias toward a certain type of individual, you may want to inform your boss and resign to a lower position within the company where you have no influence over the careers of other people.

# 4 - Apologize - If you have a made a decision with a bias heart and you have received treatment, you should go one step further and apologize to anyone that may have been hurt by your previous decisions. While this person may not respect you, they will at least be appreciative to know that they are a good employee and it was your lack of character judgment that got in the way of them and the future of their career with the company. Do your best to right your wrongs and try to help this person receive the recognition that they deserve from the company.

Bias and discrimination are no laughing manner. They can cost companies millions of dollars in lawsuits and legal fees, not to mention a damaged reputation. Do not let your pride get in the way of admitting you have a problem and you need help before you make decisions that could bankrupt the company.

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