Our biases help us navigate the world. We can’t possibly take in and assess all of the information coming at us each day, so we devise shortcuts—those are biases. (Here is some really fascinating work on cognitive biases by Buster Benson.)
Lately, I’ve been hearing this phrase a lot: “I know I’m biased, but…” and then they go on to state their (biased) opinion. It’s like the acknowledgement of bias is supposed to let the speaker off the hook for whatever comes next. It’s simultaneously nodding to the fact that sure, I have a bias, while also saying, “I’m not going to do any work to overcome it right now.”
What if, instead, we tried something like this?
I’m biased, and that means there are things I’m not seeing.
I’m biased, and I need to run this past you so you can ask me questions.
I’m biased, and I know you have a different opinion. Can we explore this?
I’m biased, and I need to take a step back to make sure the group comes to a rational decision.