Exploring Personal Bias Discussion Essay
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Exploring Personal Bias Discussion Essay
Discussion: Exploring Personal Bias
Earlier in the course, you examined the importance of a diverse and inclusive culture. An inhibitor to this type of culture can be found through personal biases, which people often have without even realizing it. Individuals and organizations can help create a better culture by first acknowledging these biases and then taking steps to address them. It is important for managers to examine their own thoughts, behaviors, values, and biases to ensure they set a precedent for others.
To resources available to assist with preparing your response to colleague:
- Identify a time in your professional life when your preconceptions or biases affected your behavior or decisions.
- 4 steps for busting unconscious bias – YouTube
- The Difference Between Workplace Equity And Equality, And Why It Matters (forbes.com)
- 6 Ways to Be an Inclusive Manager in a Diverse Workforce (linkedin.com)
- The Secret Behind Authentic Leadership (kornferry.com)
Respond to two or more of your colleagues’ posts in one or more of the following ways:
- Ask a clarifying question about the situation your colleague described.
- Identify one or more potential additional impacts of the assumptions your colleague made related to their described situation.
- Suggest an alternative perspective on your colleague’s situation and/or how you might handle a similar situation differently in the future.
- 3 – 4 paragraphs
- No plagiarism
- APA citing
*************Colleagues posts on next pages ***********
1st Colleague – Nicole Strauss
Discussion – Week 7
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I have experienced the impact of personal bias a few times during my nursing career. The most incorrect preconceived notion that I had during my hospice nursing work was that I would not enjoy managing an interdisciplinary hospice team. I began my nursing career on a medical-surgical unit and went on to work in intensive care and trauma nursing after two years. After ten years of bedside nursing, I became a hospice admission nurse. I immediately fell in love with the hospice admission work. I found great reward in providing access to quality end-of-life care to terminally ill patients and their families. As an admission nurse, one admits the patient to hospices services, then hands the care over to an interdisciplinary team that will care for them from the day after admission until they pass away. All my hospice experience was in the admission arena.
When I moved back to Maryland, the hospice company I chose did not have an open admission management position; therefore, I accepted a team manager role. During my hospice admission nurse work, I always thought that I would not find joy and reward in interdisciplinary team management. I must admit that the two years that I spent managing this interdisciplinary hospice team made me a more well-rounded hospice manager. The group accepted me with grace, and we formed a tremendous bond learning and working well together.
My initial assumptions of team management work turned out to be completely inaccurate. I met and managed a wonderful group of individuals who valued their hospice work as much I did. Our shared commitment to quality end-of-life care to patients and their families allowed us to be a successful team. According to Frei & Morriss (2020), authentic leadership is about the people on the team and a leader who creates the conditions to realize their potential by building trust. When I began this new endeavor, I focused on being my authentic self, true to my professional values as a leader, and remaining empathetic with my new colleagues on the team.
Frei, F., & Morriss, A. (2020). Begin with trust. Harvard Business Review, 98(3), 112–121.
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2nd Colleague – Nicole Strauss
Exploring Personal Bias
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Most, if not all people, have personal biases that they are both aware and unaware of. From my personal experience and my observation of others, these biases often affect our behavior and decisions in more negative than positive ways, which calls for a need to address them (Krasikova e al., 2013). While biases affect the behaviors and decisions of every individual, the impact on the decisions of leaders can be more adverse. Such implications include the loss of trust that employees may have on a leader, the development of ineffective followership, and micromanaging. All these aspects cause undesirable outcomes for the leader, the followers, and the organization.
I have been biased several times in my professional life. However, the most memorable situation is one where a fellow manager had an emergency and had to take a leave of absence in the middle of a critical project that the organization was really counting on in terms of revenue. Someone had to step in for the manager and the person who was more than willing to take on her responsibilities was a junior employee that had worked in the manager’s team for slightly more than a year. When this junior employee presented his interests, I became immediately skeptical. According to Frei & Morriss (2020), logic was my wobble. This is because I did not have faith that the junior employee would deliver.
Whereas I did not express this skepticism openly, my actions and behaviors made it loud. I would micromanage the junior employee and double check on every task that he accomplished. While double checking, I slowly began to notice that the employee was really good in that role, was creative, and even finished the tasks before the stated deadlines. However, by the time I came to this realization, the junior employee had learned about my skepticism, leading to a breach of trust between us. Frei & Morris (2020) claim that it is essential for leaders to be aware of their trust wobbles. During this experience, I had not figured out my trust wobble and that became costly because it did not only affect me, but also affected others and the organization, even though indirectly.
Upon reflection, the main impact of my assumptions on me was on my leadership. Due to my preconceptions, I became a micromanager despite my awareness of the ineffectiveness of such a leadership style. Also, the preconceptions led to my failure to become a genuinely empowering leader. Leadership is about empowering people with your presence (Frei & Morriss, 2020). On the contrary, my biases made my presence bothersome to the junior employee and broke the trust between us. Lastly, my preconceptions barred me from using the opportunity as a tool to develop the junior employee (Frei & Morriss, 2020). Instead had little faith in his abilities. This was also a leadership failure that I attribute to the preconceptions I had developed.
On the other hand, the effects on the junior employee were more adverse. By not having faith in him and choosing to micromanage rather than empower him, I led him to doubt his abilities. This significantly affected his energy and productivity in several instances. Further, the junior employee became highly competitive because he felt the need to prove himself to me. This affected his ability to work with others since he had a different objective all together. People do not always want to miss on advancement opportunities at work (Kouchaki, 2019). My skepticism about the junior employee, which stemmed from my preconceptions, pushed him toward being very competitive because he was afraid of missing such an opportunity in future, even though he was already doing well in meeting goals.
Looking back, one thing I would not have done differently was giving the junior employee the opportunity. It was filled with a lot of bias but I gave it to him anyway and the organization and I did not regret it. Nonetheless, there are several things that I would have done differently. One of them would have been to use the opportunity to empower and develop the junior employee. I would have done this by opening the door of opportunity to the junior employee as wide as possible instead of doubting him (Finkelstein, 2017). Consequently, I would have used more empowering behavior, which would have occurred if I had trusted the junior employee.
Finkelstein, S. (2017). 4 ways managers can be more inclusive. Harvard Business Review. https://hbr.org/2017/07/4-ways-managers-can-be-more-inclusive
Frei, F., & Morriss, A. (2020). Begin with trust. Harvard Business Review, 98(3), 112-121.
Kouchaki, M. (2019). Why authentic workplaces are more ethical. Harvard Business Review. https://hbr.org/2019/06/why-authentic-workplaces-are-more-ethical
Krasikova, D. V., Green, S. G., & LeBreton, J. M. (2013). Destructive leadership: A theoretical review, integration, and future research agenda. Journal of management, 39(5), 1308-1338.
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