Adapting to the SEEDS of change

communication management Dec 06, 2023

We encounter numerous situations where our minds take shortcuts and make quick judgments. To be clear, this is natural and just how our brain works. These "shortcuts" can result in biases which significantly impact our perceptions, decisions, and interactions with others. We will explore the origins of bias, and practical strategies to address it.

Bias refers to the systematic favoring or disfavoring of individuals, groups, or ideas. It can be both explicit (conscious) and implicit (unconscious). Our brains rely on heuristics and shortcuts to process the overwhelming information we encounter daily. While these shortcuts aid in quick decision-making, they can lead to biased judgments. The amygdala, the brain's emotional powerhouse, and the prefrontal cortex, responsible for reasoning and self-control, play significant roles in forming and overcoming biases.

To address bias, we can employ the SEEDS model: Similarity, Expedience, Experience, Distance, and Safety. By understanding these biases and implementing strategies, we can promote awareness, empathy, and inclusive decision-making.

  1. Similarity Bias: We tend to favor those who are similar to us. To combat this, proactively consider everyone as part of the "in-group" and seek common ground. When selecting projects, ensure your go-to person is paired up with more junior team members.

  2. Expedience Bias: We often make snap judgments based on what feels familiar and easy. To overcome this bias, review the pros and cons, seek alternative perspectives, and make time to make informed decisions.

  3. Experience Bias: Our experiences shape our perceptions, sometimes leading to an assumption that our truth is the only right one. Combat this bias by actively listening to others, seeking diverse perspectives, and being curious.

  4. Distance Bias: Being physically distant can impact our decisions. Make space for remote team members to contribute, share the burden of meeting times, and build deliberate relationships with remote staff.

  5. Safety Bias: We tend to be risk-averse, favoring protection and familiarity. Consider the long-term implications, evaluate the value of ideas, and seek data and background information to make informed decisions.

Addressing bias requires continuous effort and self-reflection. By challenging our biases, embracing diverse perspectives, and implementing strategies like the SEEDS model, we can create a more inclusive and equitable outcomes. Let's understand the origins of bias and work for where  biases no longer hinder progress. Together, we can foster awareness, empathy, and inclusive decision-making for better outcomes for all involved.



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