Lose the Bias – Grow the Business

It may seem trite to keep writing about finding better work with all the shit that’s going on but I am going to do it anyway.  Work is the key to economic freedom, no matter what you look like.  It also can provide social connection and, let’s face it,  a lot of satisfaction.

In a Town Hall last week, our President, Ranjt de Sousa, said that “there is a new emphasis for leaders to practice conscious empathy as opposed to awareness informed by physical proximity.”  This is a big change for many leaders and not one that was planned.  There was no time to ease into managing teams who are working from home.   No time for workshops or coaching.  It has been a trial by fire experience.

It means that leaders cannot see you in their office door frame, look you up and down, decide you are fine and launch into business.  Now, they need to ask how you are and not just wait for a response but actually listen to the words, tone and inflection.

This does not apply just to leaders.  As colleagues, we need to practice this as well.  Checking in with teammates and other people in your work Venn diagram is really important to your relationships and, ultimately, your career.

I think it has been this sudden shift that has caused organizations to put hiring on hold.  Sure, there are financial reasons and other uncertainties, but really it is that people don’t have confidence in their ability to conduct interviews without physical proximity.

This has to change.  Hiring cannot stand still with so much changing in the world.  We need to keep up with what the business is doing and that requires hiring and sometimes, firing people.  No one wants to let people go virtually, but that has happened too.

Just like an in-person interview, the right questions will bring informative responses.  You can evaluate what the candidate knows, hear about past decisions, listen for their enthusiasm for the company and entertain their questions.

A virtual interview also helps to eliminate some of our bias points.  We cannot pass judgement on their height, weight, physical mobility or shoes.  (don’t laugh….this has come up in the past)

Let’s start to let go of the past traditions and move forward in a more progressive way.  It will be better for all of us.



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