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Page 15 of 18

15 The Unintended Outcomes of Unconscious Bias Coaching that works. In the video, we see Durland feeling out of place without a cowboy hat and the impact it has on his performance review. His manager, Clark, doesn't consider his stellar performance because he's more focused on Durland's non-conformity. We like to believe we've outgrown schoolyard conformity bias, but unfortunately, it's not just a childish problem—it shows up in the workplace, too. Sometimes it's a co-worker saying it will be ok to take a little longer lunch (decreasing productivity) or ignoring workplace protocols because other people aren't following them. More often, it's illustrated in burnout and disengagement. When one employee in a team is disengaged, the rest of the team is slowly pushed to conform to the new, lower standard. Managers are equally susceptible to conformity bias, but the bias has particular impact on performance reviews. Teams talk. If team members (or even other managers) share a low opinion of an employee, it can influence how the manager holds the evaluation and the lens through which they begin a conversation. Beat the Bias Even frequent one-to-ones are not immune to conformity bias, as those conversations don't exist inside a bubble. Conversations should be structured around a common goal and follow a framework, like the GROW Model, that keeps both the employee and manager looking toward success without being sidetracked by preconceived biases. How to Overcome Conformity Bias 1. Structure performance reviews around a specific goal (outside of assigning an evaluation). 2. Structure performance reviews as a conversation where both sides share their realities and options. In fact, the employee should talk more than their manager. 3. Embrace the Bias: In performance reviews and in everyday conversations, encourage managers to stay engaged and optimistic. If managers are consistent, employees will conform to their manager's mentality.

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