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What you see is not always what you get

 

One thing we all have in common is unconscious bias or implicit association.

A simpler way to describe it is that we have ‘blind spots’ in our attitudes to other people that lead us to assume certain things about them.

It can be a mental shorthand we use when making decisions and it can lead to the wrong decisions.

If you don’t think this applies to you, I strongly encourage you to try this quick quiz!

On this White Ribbon Day, drawing attention to domestic violence in Australia, let’s take a moment to step back and look at the bigger picture.

Domestic violence exists, be it against women, children or men, because of a belief held by some people that in our society some people are less worthy than others.

This happens because of the assumptions we make about other people, often based on nothing more than what we’ve been told about them.

Here’s an excellent illustration of implicit association at work:

 

What are the beliefs you are projecting onto other people?

And how is that impacting your interactions not only with strangers but with your family, your friends and colleagues?

Being aware of our own biases and consciously making an effort to change will simply make us more compassionate.

I might be biased, but I think our homes, workplaces, communities and planet could use more compassion right now. It starts with us.

About Susan Rochester

BSc MHRM FIML
Susan Rochester has been managing director of Balance at Work since 2006. Susan has a natural tendency to balance analytical thinking with an optimistic outlook to set direction and solve problems. She is an effective facilitator and constantly creates new and more effective ways of doing things, motivated by helping others to achieve their goals.

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