Unconscious Bias…Peeve or Leave?
One of the most effective ways of determining how to respond to any sensed unconscious bias or micro-aggression towards you is to use your internal GPS. I call this Peeve or Leave?
The ‘Peeve or Leave?’ question should always be your first step in navigating unconscious bias in the workplace or any other bias for that matter. Here’s my tips in light of news on recent events at the Palace:
Before you respond to sensed unconscious bias based on race and ethnicity, gender, disability, age, sexual orientation, class etc. SLOW DOWN and first ask yourself:
“Is this a ‘Peeve’ or ‘Leave’ situation?”
If you deem it’s a ‘Leave’ situation, I’d suggest the following:
- Consciously make a mental decision that the sensed bias directed towards you is a minor unconscious infraction at worst
- Consciously acknowledge to yourself that your concern or offence may or may not have ‘legs’, but then determine that it’s not worth ruining your lunch over
- Then briefly, calmly but clearly use a light, friendly response, or humour to gently recondition the presumed perpetrator
- And then move on, and enjoy your lunch!
If you deem it as a ‘Peeve’ situation, then you need to do the following:
- Have a calm extended conversation with the sensed perpetrator then and there
- Draw their attention to your sensed bias through effective, non-judgemental, enquiry driven dialogue
- In drawing their attention to the sensed unconscious infraction aimed at you-you must allow for your misinterpretation of their comments or behaviour
- Avoid finger pointing (figuratively or literally) and/or drawing on: negative personal past experiences or general negative narrative and hearsay about the category the presumed perpetrator fits into, otherwise YOU become the perpetrator not them. You also run the risk of almost certainly getting their back up
- Then collaboratively agree how you’ll harmoniously move forward and get on with your life and career!
I’ll let you decide whether the Palace event was a ‘Peeve’, ‘Leave’ or 50/50 situation?