QUIZ:  8 Ways to Find Out if You Are Biased 

Rosalie Chamberlain is the author of Conscious Leadership in the Workplace and the owner of Denver, CO-based Rosalie Chamberlain Consulting & Coaching. A thirty-five year organizational culture and eighteen year coaching veteran, she specializes in maximizing talent and productivity within organizations. She is a skilled consultant, facilitator, coach and speaker in the areas of diversity and inclusion strategy, multicultural competency, leadership development, and talent management, with expertise in managing and leveraging diverse talent.

This quiz will help you explore behaviors based on what you believe (consciously or unconsciously), how you show up and recognize some views and behaviors that are ‘blocks’ that hamper success and relationships.  Select the most correct answer for you.

1.     What happens when an opposing perspective exists?

A.     Are you open to considering?

B.     Are you convinced you have the right answer?

C.    Do you judge the person offering the different viewpoint?

Your biases (preferences, beliefs and attitudes) influence behaviors and decisions that create blocks that might prevent you from seeing opportunities for collaboration and leveraging talent.

2.     How inclusive are you? Do you:

A.     Seek input from the same person or persons or network and socialize with the same group?

B.     Make decisions about someone based on their appearance or background?

C.    Allow privileges for some and not others?

D.    All of the above

If you selected any of the choices above, especially D, it is time to step back and ask yourself why you respond the way you do, where did you learn your truth? Example: At a recent traffic check, a young Caucasian woman was stopped and did not have all of the information requested by the officer. The officer allowed her to carry on, with simply a “no worries,” and, “I trust you” response. Would everyone receive the same privilege?

3.     Are you interested in having a dialogue or a debate?

A.     Do you listen fully to what is being said?

B.     Do you partially listen while planning how you will respond?

C.    Do you respond to what has been said, with “yes, but…?”

There are times for healthy debate to examine ideas and determine what will be the best solution. However, when every response is a contrary position without acknowledging and exploring someone else’s idea, the motivation for the other person to contribute will wane and eventually fall away – or they will walk away.

4.     What does your energy say about you?

A.     Do you come across as a victim, where it seems like you can’t win and you place blame on others or an organization?

B.     Do have your boxing gloves on, ready to pounce and fight to defend what you want?

C.    Do you approach situations with an attitude of collaboration, curiosity and interest?

If you chose C, congratulations! You are inspiring, motivating and open. However, if you show up with a victim or defensive attitude, consider it a red flag that needs attention.

5.     Do you notice when you think someone of a different group is a ‘certain way’ like trustworthy, not trustworthy, too quiet, too aggressive, or any other automatic judgment that drives your behavior?

A.     Yes

B.     No

C.    Sometimes

Check out if you are stereotyping an entire group and taking shortcuts to make decisions without fully exploring the person’s unique qualities.

6.     Do you avoid exploring a topic or issue because you think it does not affect you?

A.     Yes

B.     No

C.    Sometimes

Do you have a team or are part of an organization or group where topics come up that take you out of your comfort zone? Communication, communication, communication! Your willingness to build a culture of open communication is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your organization.

7.     Is your language inclusive?

A.     Do you use generic terms presuming to include everyone (gender specific terms, racial group terms, religious affiliation terms, sexual orientation terms, and physical ability terms)

B.     Do you pay attention to the impact of your language?

C.    Do you know what the marketing, recruiting and website language says about you or your organization?

8.     Do you roll your eyes or tune out at the mention of diversity and inclusion?

A.     Yes

B.     No, but do not genuinely engage in conversation?

C.    Look for ways to improve?

If you selected A or B, consider that it is a result of your privilege and rank that you react in this way vs. looking to see what you can do to be more inclusive.  Privilege is not a gender, person of color, disability, LGBT or religious issue. It is our issue.

Becoming more aware of how you respond to others and situations is important for successful relationships. At work, for example, if you want to attract the best talent for your organization, build self-awareness of the messages and signals you are sending and understand the impact on the company, the employees, the customers and you.

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