Sounder SIGN UP FOR FREE
The Leadercast Podcast
The Leadercast Podcast

Episode · 1 year ago

60. Recognizing Unconscious Bias with Pamela Fuller

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

You have unconscious biases.

 

But it doesn’t make you a bad person. It actually just makes you a person.

 

In this episode, we interview Pamela Fuller, Global Managing Client Partner and Thought Leader, Inclusion & Bias at FranklinCovey, about recognizing unconscious bias.

 

What we talked about:

 

- Bias just means preference for or against something

 

- Our brains use shortcuts to process 11M+ bits of information per second

 

- We often underestimate how our biases limit ourselves

 

- We can choose to impact others positively by becoming aware of biases

 

Check out these resources we mentioned during the podcast:

 

- Pamela’s book is The Leader’s Guide to Unconscious Bias

 

- The Person You Mean To Be by Dolly Chung

 

Check out the full podcast with Pamela Fuller by clicking here.

 

If you don’t use Apple Podcasts as your audio player, you can also find every episode at this link.

This is the leader cast podcast, helping you become a leader worth following. Hello, listeners, I am Angi Arran's and welcome to the leader cast podcast. The concept of unconscious bias has been around for some time. As a psychology major, I was fascinated by this topic and still am today as we continue to look with it to grow and learn while leading. In this time of our world, the idea of unconscious bias could not be more timely. It seems that many concepts are ending up that way, just like this past May when leader cast hosted positive disruption in the time of our world with covid nineteen. Our guest today, Phimla full or Franklin Cubby, will say the same about her upcoming book, the leader's Guide unconscious bias. Pamela is Franklin Cubby's chief thought leader on inclusion and bias and one of the firm's top global sales leaders. Beginning her career in nonprofit fundraising and advocacy, Himela earned her MBA and served as a diversity analyst at the US Department of Defense Prior to joining the Freaklin Cubby team. In today's episode, I have the opportunity to speak with Himela as we dive into unconscious by it's a bit more and learn how it relates to this month's content being at leader cast collaboration. This concept of unconscious bias is not just for HR professionals or the hiring team or even the top leaders at the company. But before we get started, let's first learn about another tool that can help you in your leadership journey. Leader cast now is an online resource for your leadership development. Get the solutions to your leadership challenges on any device at the moment you need it. To learn more, go to now doubt leader castcom. Hi, Damnla, and welcome to the leader cast podcast. How are you today? I'm so good. How are you? I'm doing really, really well and I just have to say I'm really excited about our conversation today. But before we jump into all of my questions I have for you, but unconscious bias, your book and all the research you've done, I first want to provide our listeners with a little bit of background. You have worked in both the private and public sectors and now currently serve as Franklin cubbies thought leader on inclusion and bias, as well as the global client partner responsible for supporting some of the organizations most strategic accounts. So can you tell us a little bit about this role? What do you do in that capacity? Definitely so. I'm a bit dull added in that I am one of our global sales leaders and I was recently promoted to managing client partner. So I manage other sales leaders at the organization and then I spend the rest of my time really focused as our chief thought leader on inclusion and bias, and that means I'm the architect of our solution and worked with a team to design that solution that organizations can implement right across across the Globe and the lead author of a fourth book, the leader's Guide to unconscious bias, how to refrain bias, cultivate connection and build high performing teams. I author additional thought leadership in the form of articles and interviews like this, just talking about unconscious bias and specifically what leaders can do to make progress on bias and potentially the and mitigate the potentially negative impacts of bias in their organization. So, in a really practical sense, I spent a lot of my time coaching leaders and teams about how they can be more diverse, equitable and inclusive. I just I'm ready to dive into the world of unconscious bias with you. I always like to ensure everyone has the same definition when we start conversations like this. So, for the sake of this conversation, how do you define unconscious bias? I'll start with bias, right. So bias is simply a preference. It's a preference in favor of or against a thing or person or group compared with another, and these preferences can be held by individuals, by teams, institutions and, of course, by larger society. And...

...we see that in in the media, right. We see that in the global conversation that's currently happening around race or the global conversation that's been happening around gender. And our biases don't really have value on their face, but they do impact our behavior and that behavior has a consequence, and so the consequences of our preferences can be, you know, benign, positive or negative. When these preferences are unconscious, when we're not aware of them, they can be very insidious in nature, right, because we think we're making potentially a rational decision or the most logical decision or the best decision, and this lens of bias might be clouding that decision or impacting that decision in a way that doesn't enhance possibilities for everyone. So our goal in the whole conversation is to sort of bring the unconscious to consciousness so that we can be more aware right of the impact their biases can have and act accordingly. That's a great way to kind of break it down. I've noticed looking at just reading up on you a little bit, you've always been tied issues of inclusion, as you've mentioned, with an emphasis on exploring the impacts of bias pushing towards progress. What has attracted you to this work? What is really pulled you to make this kind of your life mission? I think that, like like anything, most of us are personally called because we've been impacted by something. So I think my own identity certainly drives my interest in this work. I'm a first generation American. My parents are from the Dominican Republic, my family's from the Dominican Republic and I've always been wherever I've lived right growing up, always aware of the things that made me different and the things that people assumed about my capability or my talent or my possibilities right because of that difference. And now, as a mother of two black boys in America and knowing the data are around their possibilities right, that that no matter what I have, I you know, the the home we own and the two parent household and the books that we own and how much time and money we've invested in their education right and giving them opportunity, that their outcomes are less than that of their white peers. And I think, as a mother, you know, concerned with my own possibilities and then, of course, their possibilities. This is the thing I have to throw myself at. I have to make impact in the world to enhance their possibility. So it's really personal to me in that sense, just always being aware of my own difference and being raised to be very sensitive to the way the world will see me and what that means for my own behavior as a woman, as a black woman, as an first generation American, and then thinking about how the world will view my boys. It just fuels me to try to make impact in this space. I've noticed a lot of people are struggling with what their mission is right now because of the disruption in the world, from the global pandemic to everything that's around that. Have you noticed that your mission has gotten stronger because of the disruption in the world? I think you know, to be very personal, I did travel quite a bit before the pandemic. So I mean I had months where I traveled every week and I did global travel as well as domestic travel here in the US, and I have not traveled now since March. So it has really sharpened my why? Right? Because, as much as everything I do is for my children, I was actually away from my children quite a lot and it made it I don't know, just being being with them and having to balance the work I'm doing in their honor with how I actually show up with and for them live and in person. Has Been A journey right, because sometimes it's like, well, no, I can't do this with you because I'm working for you, for your possibilities, and that is not logical...

...to a four year old or an eleven year old. So I think for me it has sharpened my sense of work life balance, which I feel like a sort of trite like everyone always talks about that, but in all sincerity it has really pushed me to say I cannot make a difference for them in the world without being present for them in their world, if you will, right. And so I think it's pushed me to to find some balance, and I think that's probably true of a lot of people. Right is like, okay, you had this sort of excuse of work travel, that's why you were or other commitments outside the home, right, and that's why you couldn't be fully present with your children are that's why you couldn't be healthier. That's why, you know, XYZ thing couldn't happen. And now we're confronted with like, okay, well, you're home right, and we do still have to work and we're home school our children and dealing with all the mental health realities of being home. I don't want to discount any of that. It's really significant, but for me personally, it's just been quite an opportunity to actually balance my state admission with my actual behavior in the day to day. Agreed, I have been in the same boat as you. I used to travel a lot and being home as really allowed me to self focus on my health and now I'm actively working out every single morning and that was my excuse before. So, you know, having to realign that makes perfect sense with your wife. I do want to jump into your book, the Leaders Guide to unconscious. I had the pleasure of an advanced copy, so thank you for that. I first want to say in my highlighter and my post it notes got to work out. There was so much great content there and I just really appreciated the way it was written. There was a mix of storytelling with a workbook educational content. I felt like you kept my attention with every page and I just again the layout, which is amazing. But I really really appreciated you starting off with walking the walk and talking the talk, and by that I mean you included two others when writing your book. You had a collaboration immediately with Mark Murphy, also frequent copy, and a Chad, the CEO of Att Business. They shared their stories throughout the pages as you explain the educational meaning behind everything. Why was it important to have multiple, multiple voices in the book? For you, I mean open the book with an example of where I've shown bias right, and the reality is that I, for whatever expertise I have, I also have biased right and I have a very specific point of view around diversity, equity and inclusion and bias, and so it's really important. I mean the title the book is the Leaders Guide to unconscious bias. It's not the leaders who resonate with Pamela, right. It's not the leaders who feel connected to Pamela's point of view, right, it's the leaders guide. And so it was really important that we have diverse perspectives and points of view because if you connect with me, that's amazing. If you connect with Ann that's amazing, if you connect with mark, that's amazing, right. And we each have such different perspectives. We have different identities but also different levels of experience, right, where different generational we're different in our function. So and runs a global business that, if it were separate from att would be the equivalent, I believe, of a fortune fifty company. And she's an engineer by training, right, which I think is a specific lens through what you look at the world, and has been an executive for many years. Mark has always been customer facing in his role, so he is just on the ground with clients and customers every day helping them make progress on bias. And my work has always been sort of connected to advocacy and inclusion and to of pushing on things to build a more...

...inclusive world. But I've done that through lots of different perspectives. I started my career and non profit. I worked for the Department of Defense for just a bit and then now I work for a private company, right, a publicly traded company, but on our public sector team, and I work with a lot of multinational organizations. And so I think these varying viewpoints, these varying perspectives are really important for anyone who picks up the book to be able to see themselves reflected, to feel some relation to the concepts and ideas. It also gave to your point about staying engaged. Right. It gives the reader some variation in voice, because we do ask our readers to do a lot of work. Right. It is this workbook format and we're asking you to think about things and we're asking you to write down things and we're asking to apply things and come back and tell us how it went right in the across the pages, and I think variety of voice is important when you're doing things that require you to think hard. Absolutely, and as someone who has studied this as a psychology major, I still felt myself unpacking a lot of the things. So you were very authentic in your story in the beginning and giving that example. One point I loved was when you look at resumes and how you viewed education versus how your husband viewed education. For any of our listeners, when you get to that point you'll know what I'm talking about. But just having that different Lens, it's just amazing to see how we can continue to learn from each other. So I just wanted to say thank you and appreciate that you included so many voices in that context. Thank you. Thank you for saying that my husband is like the silent author. Right he's, and I think that that's the case probably for most relationships, as you come home and you're like, well, what about this and what about that? And I'm very grateful to be married to someone who pushes my thinking on lots of things. So I'm glad he came out just a little. Absolutely it's I was good to have that advocate so your ally and training. So I'm going to dive into a couple of points. First of all, some individuals gets super defensive the moment they hear the word bias. Can you talk through a bit on why bias is a good thing, why it's a sign our brain is functioning properly and also why we need to consider rewiring it definitely. So I'm really influenced in my thinking about biased by Dolly Chug she wrote this book called the person you mean to be, and she studies ethics at Nyu and she essentially explains this defensiveness right, that we are each grounded in our identity as a good person and then if someone comes by and says you have biased, then they what you hear is that you are a bad person, and so you feel the need to defend against this accusation that you are bad and and highlight all the ways in which you're good. And the challenge with that is that when we're in that defensive pasture, we cannot make progress right, like we were so busy defending that we can't recognize that we may have had a problematic thought or may have behaved in a way that was limiting to somebody's possibilities. And if we don't even recognize that, we can't, of course, make progress right, we can't get better. So it is important that all of us sort of bring down the defensiveness and recognize that if I were to say I didn't have bias, I would be saying my brain is not functioning properly. Right, that bias is a natural part of the human condition. Our brain is faced with eleven million bits of information in any given second and could only actively process forty bits of information right in any given moment, I should say. And so while our brain is this super computer full of all this automatic programming, it has a capacity problem. There's more coming in than we can actively process, and if we had to actively process the eleven million BITs, we would still be in bed, like we would not survive, right. I would not be able to actually form a complete sentence if I was focusing in on the lighting in the room and the temperature and what's happening outside the window and what's happening on my computer screens, right,...

...and the sounds from homeschool, preschool downstairs, then all the things that my brain is taking in. It's sort of the equivalent, if anyone's a fan of elementary or the mentalist right, that these are detectives who can solve crimes because they actually can perceive more than the average person, and the way that our brain sort of handles this Delta between the eleven million and the forty week and actively process are through these cognit of shortcuts. And sometimes these these cognitive shortcuts can lead to problematic thinking or problematic action right around people who are too different from us or people with whom we've had a negative experience. or it might determine, as a leader, how I identify potential or how I identify talent in this very specific way. Right, and in those cases it can be limiting. And even in those cases I'm not a bad person. Right. The request is, can we examine the impact of these preferences and if we can identify that they are limiting, either to myself, if it's a self limiting belief, or to the people around me, then can I proactively choose a response that is that does not cause negative impact? And for many of us it's about going from good to great. It's that as a leader, I fancy myself a great leader. I think very critically about my leadership, but I don't think as critically about what it means to be an inclusive leader. And if I don't add this lens to my thinking as a leader, then I'm unintentionally leaving people out of that leadership. And so my leadership cannot be great to feel defensive against all the ways they're terrible people. They're not, but instead to really focus on how can they be even better. It's a continual educational piece of leadership. So it's not going to stop. And I know there's several types of bias out there too. You have a lot of great diagrams and structures within the book and one of them is the iceberg. That I'm refrain sing the several types of bias. Can you tell us a little bit more about the types of bias and then how to recognize them? Yeah, so this iceberg image has been used, you know, for decades in the diversity and inclusion space. Just that if you think of an iceberg, you know in the Arctic where icebergs live, that the thing that you see above the surface is only about ten percent of the actual mass of the iceberg and there's all this mass underneath that you don't really see, but it makes icebergs like humongous. Right, and identity is very similar that when you encounter someone, you see the top ten percent. Right, there's things that you can visibly identify. You can see their physical ability, you can see their stature and size. You can see their you know, relative attractiveness. You can see their hair color and their hair like. You can see their gender in some cases, or at least make some assumptions about what their gender is. If, depending on the context in which you see, then you might see that they have children or don't have children. We might see their wedding ring or lack of wedding ring, right, or wedding band and and so there's all this stuff on the surface that you can see. Right, if I were Musclim you could see that I that I was Musclim as a woman because of my head job. Right, all these things on the surface that you can see and we often make initial judgments and initial assumptions based on those things at the surface. But there's all this other stuff to us, right, and if you ask most of us to describe ourselves, we would not describe our characteristics with a specific focus on the surface, right. I mean we might say our race and gender, but we would also say other things, like I would say that I'm really ambitious and that I am a writer and that I am an aspiring triathletes. I did a triathlete a triathlon sprint last year with a good friend. Right, I'm very slow, but I try really hard. I might say that I am learning...

...tennis. Right, I'm a tennis player, and then I'm an have a reader to I'd say all these things that I feel really proudly about. Right, even that in my first generation American, and those are not things that people would know about me unless they really got to know me. So the iceberg is a metaphor for how we can think about the complexity of the human condition. Right, that all of us are much more than whatever is on the surface and if we want other people to judge our full self, we need to be open to judging others by their full self, right. And so we talked in the book about the importance of cultivating connection to really understand the person's full story versus just what you see. We also talked about, to your point, the different kinds of biases that can exist. So, you know, we talk about affinity bias, the idea that we have natural affinity towards similarity and so we feel positively towards people who are similar to us. We talked about negativity bias, that as humans, we have stronger feelings about the negative things that happen and will often take a negative experience and let our feelings about that, you know, overcome seventeen positive experiences because we just have stronger feelings about the negativity. If you think about it from sales, you know, you look get over the course of a year, there are four quarters and say you did really well three of the four quarters but you miss the fourth quarter. Will often think our brain will sort of hold on to that we miss the fourth quarter instead of looking at will you actually hit the majority of the quarters in the year right? Or you see it with kids, like if my son is in trouble and he's grounded, you know he's like you always ground me? It's like, well, no, I ground you when you do the wrong thing right, but you're actually not grounded the majority of the time that he, just like all humans, has, you know, pays out due attention to the negativity. We talked about some cost bias, which is the idea that you've invested so much time, energy and resource in something that we have to proceed down the road. So in an organization, when someone says, well, why you do it like that, and the person says because we've always done it this way right, that Sun cost bias. So we talked about some different kinds of biases as well as these facets of our identity. I've always done it that way. That one always so jarring to me. Let's talk a little bit with the selflimiting bias. I know that I've done it at some point. I've seen others do it more readily right now because of just the state of where we are. Can you first tell our listeners what selflimiting bias is, as well as how individuals in the workforce can combat it in these times as we focus on the mental health of our teams? So selflimiting bias is, you know, beliefs or biases we hold about ourselves that hold us back. Anything we believe that we're not capable of right or anyway in which we feel limited in our potential, you know, or any thought we have that we can't do something, or even that we're doing something and someone might find us out right imposter. Syndrome sort of lives in this in this selflimiting bias bucket or category, and I shared an example in the book of early in my time at Franklin cobby, there was a person that promoted to vice president and she was the youngest vice president in the history the company, and our companies head quartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, although I live in Florida and so I was traveling. I was in Salt Lake and I reached out to this vp and I asked her if she'd have dinner with me and I just I didn't know her very well, but I wanted to get to know her and I thought it was really cool that she was the youngest vp in the history of the company. And we had dinner and I spent like fifteen minutes describing how difficult I am to work with and how unlikable I am, and I was basically trying to ask her advice. Like I was like okay, so, since I'm so difficult to work with and since like I'm not really, you know, miscongeniality or like Miss Popularity, how could I be successful here? And...

...she like her jaw dropped and short of looked at me like really puzzled and she was like I don't know who you're talking about right, like the person you're describing is not the reputation that you have across the company. And she had said, in preparation for this inner, I sort of asked around and I called Your Moss, I called some other people who've worked with you to just get an impression about you and what feedback I could give you. That would be helpful. She's like an and this is not how you were described. You were described as highly intelligent, incredibly capable, really collaborative, sort of doing things differently than they've been done, pushing the status quo, but actually really lovely to work with. All these like really wonderful things, and it's sort of slapped me in the face because I was like, oh right, I had been carrying the baggage of my previous employment, right, of my previous very toxic work environment and all of these ways in which I was treated that I thought were mine to own. Right. So I thought I was treated that way and I was told I was treated that way because I was difficult and because I was, you know, unpleasant, and because I was, you know, thought myself better than other people, and all these things that were really had very little to do with me and everything to do with the manager for whom I worked previously. And these kinds of things exist about everything, right, so they can exist around experiences we've had, like we took a risk and it didn't work out and so then we're like, oh, we're not a person who can take risks, and that can be selflimiting, because there are circumstances you find yourself in where you have to take risk. They can be about our identifiers, right, when you see yourself reflected in leadership, if a leadership team doesn't have any women, if it doesn't have any black people, if it doesn't have any first generation Americans, right, I could look at that team and stay. I guess I'm not capable. Right. I guess it's not possible for me. I guess people like me don't get to do that kind of thing. Right. And those selflimiting beliefs can be really challenging. I mean, being on the receiving end of bias can be really harmful, but they're there are ways that we limit ourselves based on our prior experiences or messaging that society gives us or things we've grown up with that we need to break through from. Like we need to let go of right, because they the only person limited in those circumstances is ourselves. And it's artificial because if we sort of let go of that, if instead we it's like manifesting good thoughts right. If instead we believe that we could do any of it, we'd be better served in the day to day. And you mentioned that it's sometimes really hard to be in the receiving end of these biases and we don't talk about that often. We always talk about how to limit yourself of having the biases. But when you are on the receiving end, what steps or advice would you encourage people to consider taking to handle that? I think it's really critical, if you're on the receiving end of bias, to recenter yourself. Right when you're on the receiving and the bias, you start to see yourself through the negative lens that is being projected on you. So it's sort of decenters you from your own narrative right like it's like you're writing an autobiography and someone like grabs the pen and starts writing in your name and they write, I'm flattering things right, and that's how it can feel. And so anything you can do to recenter yourself in the narrative, and we talked about some strategies in the book. I believe so strongly in Selfcare. I believe in like not selfcare as a trite thing. It's not like a manny petty, although it could be right, but it is really meaningful work to focus on yourself and exactly what you need in that moment. Do you need in a nap? Do you need to meditate? Do you need to pray? Do you mean to play with your kids right? Do you need to read something? Do you need to find community...

...that is like you? So I think that selfcare in however you define it right, because some people are think it's sort of too soft an idea. But selfcare and however you define it is really important. I also think building community is really critical. So I'm a big fan of a podcast called living corporate and I've been interviewed by them in part and partnered with them for a future endeavor. But you know, it was founded by a man, Zach, who found himself a first generation professional in corporate America and so he built a community that amplified black and brown voices in corporate America for himself, right, so he could cope with bias, and the result is something that supports lots of black and Brown folks in corporate America. But this idea building community can be really helpful. I also think you have to have, you know, like the way I talked in the book about my husband right, you have to have a confidant who is going to counterbalance that narrative, right like it. In my case, an example I just shared, my colleague, the VP, counterbalanced the narrative that I had. She just someone who knows you well enough, or is willing to get to know you well enough to be able to give you a true reflection of what's happening versus the Bias Lens that's occurring. So those are a couple strategies I believe in really wholeheartedly and have personally applied when I've been on the receiving end of bias and I've just seen what impact it can make to have a community to prioritize my own care and to have a network of confidants who can really help me see myself the way they see me, versus whatever negativity might be thrown my way. You mentioned two different things I want to focus on. The first one was the self care advocacy, the allied ship. You said you had a kind of a community piece when you were struggling maybe sometimes to get that. Can you tell us a bit about the impact of bias the workplace when it becomes damaging, like how do those things help keep the workplace not damaging for someone's wellbeing? I give my work a lot of importance right I think my work is important because it has impact on people inside Franklin County and people outside of Franklin Covey. I think might work is important for my family. It's the way that I sustain them and I think my work is important because I'm personally fulfilled by feel, you know, applying my talents to something that feels good. But we sometimes confuse our work with our identity and I think that can be incredibly damaging when your work circumstances not ideal. So if you're in the receiving end of bias at work and work is how you define yourself, if you prioritize selfcare you can sort of pivot and get to know yourself better. If you will write, like if you're journaling, if you're finding hobbies outside of work, if you're building relationships outside of work, you're sort of expanding the footprint of your life outside of work, expanding, you know, detaching your work from how you identify yourself and building, you know, a more bust definition of yourself, and I think that that can be really helpful because it then puts you in a position where you can make a more subjective choice about what's happening. If your work is your identity and you're in this damaging zone because you're on the receiving end of really negative bias, well then it feels like I have to put up with this because I have no other options. I don't know what else I would do, because my work is my identity. If you prioritize selfcare and really build a personal life for yourself, a robust identity and life outside of work, then you realize, okay, I can actually go work somewhere else, like at that can bring my talents somewhere...

...else right same with that counterbalancing force, or even at community. You know, you can network yourself into a better circumstance. There is a point where you have to leave right like there's a point where, if it is at all possible for you to do so, if your work environment is tax it toxic and damaging, you need to go. And so sometimes prioritizing selfcare is building the path, you know, building your exit strategy and you mentioned that right now it's, I think, so scary for some people to look at their situations, evaluate their value in themselves and remind themselves of that value to know that, yes, it is okay to walk away at this is not fulfilling you. It is okay to take care of yourself. I noticed right now, even at leader cast we are really focused on our employees, obvious if we want them to ensure that they are taking that time for themselves, that they're taking that break to walk the dog, that they are taking that moment to throw in a little laundry, if they need to walk away. And those quote unquote soft skills of leadership have always been here, but they become so much more relevant right now. So you talk about the cultivating connection in the book as well, and I think that the idea of soft skills are about that connection. So why are these skills so important in leadership with a focus on bias? So I think they're sort of two layers to the question. Right the first is, in our current circumstance, why is it so important that we called divate connection? And I think it's because we are we are under dress, like our brain is in this primitive sort of survival place where more likely to lean into bias thinking and to actually, you know, we we're not giving people the benefit of the doubt, potentially, or we are misunderstanding one another. You know, in child psychology they talk about there's an age that your children reach where they are no longer only self effacing, like they start to understand. It's sort of when they're travelers, like they start to understand that other people also have feelings, right, and other people also have things they want, and other people also get to, you know, have agency and make decisions about what they're most comfortable doing. And when we think about bias, we often can only tell a story about bias relative to our own experience, right. So if I talk about being being on receiving end of bias, like a lot of my examples are about my I'm a woman and I'm a mother, right, and I'm a first generation American and I'm aff for Lettina and like, they're all these things that are about my own identity, right, where I'm sort of self effacing in that way, and that's natural when we engage with other people and we don't see similarity or we don't see affinity or we don't understand their experience because it's so different than our own, then then we're more likely to have whole negative biases against them. So the whole value of cultivating connection is that I don't want to evaluate my interactions with other people through only my lens of experience and I don't want to fill it with assumption. And the way that I can hijack all of that and not lean into bias thinking is to actually know the person and then I'm operating from a degree of fact. My brain doesn't have to fill in anything with assumption or how I feel about it right. Instead, I actually know this person. I know what motivates them, I know what their intent is, and when we know people we are more likely to give them the benefit of the doubt. All right, so when we think about the role of a leader, we you know, I asked leaders to do this activity where they think about the performance of their teams and they plot them in one of three parts. It's a model that's in the book, the high performance on, the limiting zone or the damaging zone, and then I ask them, can you answer these questions about these people, about your team? Right? Where do they see themselves in five years, not where you...

...see them in five years. Where did they see themselves in five years? What are they most worried about today and their personal or professional life? What is their biggest concern? And then what are they most excited about or passionate about in their personal or professional life? And what I have found is that there's this direct correlation between a leader's ability to answer these questions and whether their people are in this high performance zone. Quite often people are in the limiting, your damaging zone and they don't have real connection to their leader. Their leader doesn't know them and they feel that right. They know their leader doesn't know them and they assume that their leader doesn't care about them and that impacts their performance. The final point I'll make about it is that, in the absence of information, our brain creates a story on both sides of bias. And when we make an effort to cultivate meaningful connection, to know what drives people, what their fears are, what makes them happy, what they aspire to, then we have a more authentic engagement and there's no assumption or bias at play. Instead, we're talking about, you know, real facts and the reality of people's experience. Absolutely great I appreciate your sharing all of that because I've been on both ends of that spectrum. So you talk about that life cycle and how you've been in a bad place, you've been in a great place. You know you have to kind of find that pool with your community at work. You made a really good point in the book about how some leaders talk about their pool of candidates and how they want to diversivide their work environment but they just don't have the right pool. Can you provide us a few examples of things employers can do to achieve a diverse pool of applicants? To your point, I highlight in the book that, like lots of leaders say they would be more diverse if they could find diverse engineers, if they could find diverse doctors, if they could find diverse sound engineers right or whatever event planners or whatever it is, or they might say, you know, we're in a place that's not super diverse and and I think a couple things. I think first many organizations do not leverage the diversity that exists within the organization. You have some people in your organization who are diverse and you should reach out to them about where they would recommend you advertiser, if they have people in their network who they might recommend for various roles. So I think, I think what happens is it's there's this disconnect between hr or hiring managers and the actual diversity that exists within the firm and they're like, you know, it's the it's a kind to me standing next to an electrician and trying to like fix my own electricity like the right. I mean why? Why would you tackle that without inviting the expert in the space to give you their input? So I think leveraging the diversity that exists in the organization is really critical, and you can do that informally or if you have a more developed sort of diversity, equity and inclusion program you can do that through employee resource groups or the Diversity Council that exists or whatever structure might be present in your organization. I know that there are firms that specialize in this right. So there's job well as an example. There are organizations that specialized in diversity recruiting and diversity sourcing and they're not leveraged as much as, you know linkedin or monster right or these other sort of big job sites. And so if you care about something, investing the time and resources to again pull in the expert to help you do that well, I think is really critical. And the third thing is actually not taking no for an answer. If you are presented with an applicant pool and it is not diverse, you throw it back. You're holding your recruiting team to the standard that you'd like to see said.

If you tell them this is important, but when they don't do it, you still hire from that pool, then, regardless of what you say, they're making decisions and acting based on your behavior. But if you throw it back and say, Hey, I'm not going to actually interview for this role until I get a diverse late of candidates, you know, then you're pushing them, via accountability, to actually make change and how they're sourcing candidates. I appreciate all the commings you have this day to today about Diia and general as well as the unconscious bias that we're all working through on a daily basis to become a better leader. So, as we wrap up this conversation, I want to ask you one fun a question. I lead our past. Our mission is to bill leaders worth following. Pamela. In your opinion, what makes the leader worth following. All such a big question. So I would say, and this is like terribly self effacing, because this is what I believe in and my own leadership. So I think that authenticity is really critical and it's not up to say like every leader needs to be like me right, but I think that in authenticity in the leader makes them easy to follow because you see their strengths and challenges, you get to see them actually working to make progress on their challenges and you believe them right. Like there's such a sincerity from an authentic leader and it's sort of even the playing field. It doesn't feel like an authentic leader is superior to you. They're just, you know, they just happen to be the person in charge, but they're still like a whole person and fully nuanced in their humanity. So I think authenticity is really critical. I think the second thing is leaders need to provide opportunity. So, like we're all hired to do a job, but as a leader you have some privilege in the circumstance in the organization. You're privy to information that your direct reports don't have and you have access that they don't have. And so how are you, I think leaders worth following care about their employees careers as much as they care about their own careers and they are offering them opportunity to sit in on this meeting, to get to see this, to give input on that. Right, just all the access that leaders have. They're not hoarding that access right, but they're distributing it. And I think the third characteristic of a leader worth following is that they don't take themselves too seriously. Like, can they have fun? Right? Can they laugh about the fumbles and joke about the struggles and really connect with their team onna on a person to person level? Right? Can they shake and they share when they're on the zoom call and they like, we're running late and don't actually have pants on, or or one of their kids joins the call and it's like trying to talk to everyone? Right. But if they can't take themselves too seriously, I think those three things make a leader worth following and will thanks for doing your stay. I clearly appreciate your time. Thank you so much for having me well, leader Crest community, I hope you enjoyed this conversation as much as I did. Unconscious by says it around for such a long time, and it won't be going away. This timely and relevant material will surely stay relevant as we move forward together as leaders worth following. If you want to learn more about Franklin Cubby, the Global Public Company specialize in the organizational performance improvement, you can follow them on instagram at Franklin Cubby or visit their website for more details and, of course, be sure to check out HIMLA's book, available for practice on November eleventh. Leader cast. Thee in this month is all about collaboration. If you want to learn more about how collaboration can benefit your team, check out our blog,...

...newsletters, webinars and videos by visiting leadercastcom and, if you are new to our podcast, check out our previous episodes to subscribe so you never miss the latest from the leader cast podcast. Thank you everyone for joining us today, and now go be that leader worth following. According to research from Edelman and Linkedin, almost sixty percent of decision makers said that thought leadership led them to awarding business to an organization. Sweet fish media helps marketing teams turn their executives into industry thought leaders. Learn more by visiting sweet fish Mediacom. Leader cast. Thanks for tuning in to the leader cast podcast. To ensure that you never miss an episode, subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast player.

In-Stream Audio Search

NEW

Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (65)