Lesson Learned By Asking
The other day my wife and I were working with a saleslady. This woman’s job fit her well and it showed. She had all the right attributes and excelled in most of the key of aspects of sales. After being together for 45 minutes, during which she spent much of the time taking care of us and our needs, another male worker from the store interrupted our conversation to ask the woman a question. We could not tell if this man was her boss, a co-worker or a subordinate.
The next day, I asked my wife who she thought the guy was and she said probably her boss. Although I resisted drawing any absolute conclusions, my tendency was to agree. The following day, I asked the saleslady about the situation. She told me the man who asked her a question was a colleague she worked with in the store.
This is a small example of how unconscious bias works in the workplace. The lesson I learned is to resist falling back on any preconceived stereotypes and withhold your opinion. Then, if you don’t know, do I as did and ask. This makes unconscious bias, conscious, and raises your awareness so that it is less likely to happen again.