“Prejudice…partiality…predisposition” are words used to define bias. Based on that, everyone is biased, including me…and you. The Weather Channel is too.
The Weather Channel (TWC) has what the WSJ (1/26-27/2013) calls “wet bias,” meaning that when the next day forecast is iffy, TWC will shade the forecast toward rain so we will be pleasantly surprised if the forecast is wrong. In fact, the next day’s weather will be better than forecasted about 50% more often than it will be worse than forecasted.
What does this have to do with life and leadership? Everything we hear from people in business (or at home or at church or wherever) is likely to have some bias in it. Most of us have a “bias set”: we are likely to be predisposed that it will rain (negative or glass half empty bias) or predisposed that it will be sunny (positive or glass half full bias). I tend a bit toward wet bias; my wife, Dottie, tends a bit toward sunny bias.
The life and leadership relevance is:
● Know your own bias
● Know the bias of those you receive input/advice from
● Don’t ignore input because of bias, just be aware of it
● Don’t label wet bias people as overly negative and don’t label sunny bias people as overly positive
Always remember that a 30% chance of rain tomorrow actually means there is a 70% chance it won’t rain. Plan your day accordingly; make sure you have an umbrella in the trunk, but don’t cancel the picnic.
[By the way, I have a positive bias about my just released book, 16 Stones: Raising the Level of Your Leadership One Stone at a Time. Check it out at www.16stonesbook.com]
The catalyst for this post was a WSJ article by Carl Bialik, Some Percentages Are Just Fair-Weather Friends (26-27 January 2013).
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© Copyright 2013 by Dick Wells, The Hard Lessons Company
"The best way to lead people into the future is to connect with them deeply in the present."
Kouzes & Posner