Blog :

Call Yourself Out

Dec 8, 2022
Call Yourself Out

We’ve spoken about unconscious bias many times on the Orbis blog, and today we wanted to unpack the concept of “calling yourself out” at work - whether this is in a good or a bad way! Unconscious bias is defined as a social stereotype about certain groups of people that individuals form outside their own conscious awareness

We all have unconscious biases - and they can play into our everyday interactions without us even realising them.

An excellent analogy of unconscious bias was published by DukeToday:

“Mahzarin Banaji, a Harvard professor who studies bias, once adamantly refused to talk to a persistent reporter  - until the reporter told her she was an alum of the college. "I heard that, and the words 'come on over, I'll talk to you suddenly came out of my mouth," Banaji said. "All my rational reasons for not talking to her went out the window because we shared a zip code for four years." 

Recognise your unconscious bias

This can be pretty tough to do - but it’s all about cultivating self-awareness. For example, let’s say you’re someone who is naturally extroverted - your unconscious bias could gravitate you to spend more time with introverted people at work because “opposites attract” - a phrase socially used widely in the case of friendships (and even dating) - but, what proof is there beyond a phrase? 

Another example is working with friends or hiring friends into your organisation. You will always have a bias towards these individuals (positive, we hope) so you want to be mindful of favouritism, and cliques, and instead, create an environment that is meritocratic and based on data! 

Take yourself out of your comfort zone, recognise why you have that bias and work against it Writing down your biases can also be a great way of understanding yourself better, too.

Be honest with yourself

Unconscious biases aside, it’s super important to use your self-awareness to enable you to be honest with yourself about your strengths and development points. For example, one of your key strengths may be the ability to carry your role out through a technical lens, but, a weakness may be that you struggle with speaking publicly or even presenting. 

Recognising this and being honest with yourself will enable you to work on it - and also let others know that you struggle with it. A lot of the time, we develop frustrations with ourselves because we don’t know how to improve when in reality a bit of introspection can go a long way. 

Call yourself out! 

Whether it’s jealousy, feeling unhappy, or even feeling inspired - call yourself out when you can sense a behavioural change. Especially in the workplace whereby you’re exposed to many different people and personalities, developing self-awareness is what will enable you to do better.

 Is there a particular colleague that you’re not getting along with? Why? Or, is there a particular person in the office who you gravitate to because they bring out the best in you? Keep note of this. 

Educate yourself

No one is perfect and no one is expecting you to have all the answers! The key is to educate yourself and ensure that you can try to be the best version of yourself in the workplace (which will also transcend into your personal life).

Want to learn more about D&I in the workplace? Take a look at our guide here.

Read our Whitepaper on How to Elevate Diversity & Inclusion within your Team

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