Pride and Prejudice - The Work Stress Combo Plan
“To know the true reality of yourself, you must be aware not only of your conscious thoughts, but also of your unconscious prejudices, bias and habits.”
It has been said, "To be objective, we must first admit we are subjective."
Breaking down this quote to understand it further, we can say that when someone says they are completely objective, it is likely not so. At first glance, this must seem like horrible news. You may even be saying to yourself, "I know there are others in my workplace that this applies to, but she's not talking to me." Oh, yes I am!
If you won't admit or realize that you, just like everyone else, have bias then this very bias will be integral to every decision you make. And we all know what poor decisions do to our stress levels (and everyone else's!).This is the real harm in not being willing to see that we all carry bias.
Another quote that ties prejudice to pride: "When we argue we are fighting for our weaknesses." This insight may need some explanation. The quote is saying that when we are not willing to be open to another's point of view--when we are sure we are right--we are actually fighting to keep our limitations in place. If you find yourself right this minute thinking, "I am not the person she is talking to in this article" you are fighting to keep your prejudices.
Today I ask that you open-up to the possibility that you have bias. What does becoming aware of our biases look like? How do we know when we are "there"?
When we can see that everyone has both shortcomings and strengths. Everyone (including ourselves) makes mistakes and creates successes. Knowing that we all want to be able to pay our bills easily, enjoy leisure time and create something meaningful at work--no matter our physical form or current circumstances--is the goal.
Keep this idea in mind for the rest of the day: Each time you interact with someone, assume you don't have all the information about this person or this circumstance. Ask questions. Listen. When you find yourself drawing conclusions, search for proof of the opposite (called "contrary evidence"). Is there someone you just can't stand in your department? Look for those things you like, admire, have in common.
All you have to lose is your bias!
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