Monday, November 23, 2009

Bias and Prejudice and other limiting and self limiting behaviors

We all have bias and prejudiced and fact is never is this truly a positive trait. In larger society often rules were changed to subjugate whole ethics groups or arbitrarily assign characteristics to people (often negative) to justify a false sense of superiority. In the case of CEOs and C level executitives it manifested itself via a sense of entitlement thinking that despite the poor performance of the respectictive company they were someonhow due large compenation. With respect to individuals and especially business owners it causes them to pursue courses of action that are familiar even if they are not productive or positive.

Bias, prejudice and so many other things are a tool people use to avoid change and thus negate growth. How often have you in the case of ethic bias witness rules being changed to exclude with no regard or effort made to determine if the individual or group of individuals can or should be excluded and were never given a chance to see what they could achieve. A classic example of this to me was Jim Crow where politicians used fear as a basis of decisions and yet when we look at the factis historicially is it not ironic that during that same period of time many of the colleges and univerisities we now enjoy were founded with the help and in some cases the leadership of the very people subjugated.

Bias allows us to discard and discount fact and make choices to justify decision we have already made instead of allowing the facts to dictate the choices. They allow us to be exclusive instead of inclusive, to be destructive instead of constructive. In relationships they allow us to discount and destroy what is good for us and best long term because it is not what we think we want short term.

Some more tangible examples:
  • The child who is stopped from putting their hand on a hot stove
  • The adult who decides to work because they need money now instead or are not capable of completing college
  • The advisor who decides African Americans are not capable mentally be being scientists or engineers
  • The person who discounts someone because they are not a member of their particular ethnic group
  • The person who prefers play or work or who wants the reward but is unwilling to pay the associated cost
  • The person declining to even attempt to learn a little of another language
  • The person who believes themselves better than others thus closing the option to learn from people whose ideas may offer more merit or in fact be more sound
  • The person who believes because you do not look like me you cannot possibly understand

Lets apply this to business and how entrepreneurs use some of these tactics to self sabotage.

What do you think about this topic - the Fear of Change!!!

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