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Accountability and Bias

How can we recognize and account for our own biases? A guide to cultivating accountability and identifying bias through fostering self-awareness.
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To be accountable is to be worthy of trust and accept the responsibilities that come with it.

Once your strategy has been articulated, analyzed, tested and measured, you’ll be held accountable for the outcome. Will you be able to stand by your reasoning and be completely transparent about any inherent bias in your strategy?

Accountability is the ability to answer for your actions, and recognize that your thoughts, emotions, and attitudes can produce certain results.

First, walk your talk. Be a role model:

  1. Say what you mean
  2. Mean what you say
  3. Do what you say

Accountability is acknowledging your own states of mind, styles, archetypes, and traits. In other words, it establishes where you are out of balance. It’s like a game with ourselves, knowing that we can actually beat the current markers we set for ourselves.

If you want to communicate authentically and achieve your goals, you must cultivate awareness and accountability. To be accountable, you must be self-aware. To be self-aware, you have to ask yourself questions:

  1. What did you do that worked? What didn’t? Why?
  2. What do your actions and reactions tell you about yourself?
  3. Do you recognize any patterns?
  4. What excuses do you make for bad results or failures?
  5. Why do you think you’re holding onto this habit/pattern? If you keep doing the same thing and getting the same bad results, why would you expect a different result without changing your behavior?
  6. Can you identify any of your typical behavior patterns that are causing issues?
  7. Finally, who do you want to be, and how do you really want to come across to others?

Being accountable means being aware of the causes and effects of our decisions.

Being responsible means you can question yourself and understand what actions should be taken to deal with a given situation. It means making conscious choices, not getting carried away by events, or creating excuses that stymie action.

Self-reflection is necessary to ensure we remain accountable. If we suspend our critical self-analysis, we allow ourselves to behave in ways which are not authentic or true to how we want to be.

Finally, let’s talk about BIAS

Bias is a partiality that prevents objective consideration of an issue or situation.

An opinion is a thesis formed on the basis of something. This something, whether it be studies, feelings, experiences, or collected ideas, is the basis of a given opinion. Respecting all opinions should not mean that you’re unable to form a critical judgement.

In order to form an opinion of others and form our own view on a given subject, we need to use Critical Thinking. You have to ask yourself the right questions:

  • Where does this information come from? What is its source?
  • What is the counter argument?
  • Do I have enough knowledge about the topic to be able to counter argue?
  • What questions can I ask to deepen my understanding?

Analyze everything and don’t take anything for granted. As the philosopher Socrates said, “One thing only I know, and that is that I know nothing.”

The thing to avoid is using some small element (e.g. a behavior, a speech, an attitude, etc.) to extend your judgement on the person rather than their opinions.

It’s necessary to understand that our perceptions — even though they may seem objective to us — are not objective in every case. Everyone’s perceptions are linked to personal interpretations based on previous experiences, current moods, and beliefs.

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How to Develop Critical Thinking Skills

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