Speed Read

  • Our judgements of people are influenced by all sorts of assumptions, and we’re often not aware of them
  • Implicit or unconscious biases becomes a problem in the workplace when subtle biases and stereotypes associated with different demographic groups lead us to overlook or unintentionally exclude some people
  • Becoming aware of these biases and making the unconscious conscious is the first and most important step when it comes to addressing the issue
  • The reality is it’s hard to control our automatic or default judgements. That’s why decision-making experts suggest we move from the individual to the collective, from the decision maker to the decision-making process to ensure decisions are fair and objective

Imagine you’re interviewing candidates for a job opening. You invite the candidate in to a meeting room, and reception brings in a hot cup of coffee for each of you. Hugging that hot cup in your hands, you dive into your questions. The candidate responds well and they appear comfortable and open – you think they would be the perfect fit.

It’s a simple act – sitting down at an interview with a hot cup of coffee. But that caffeine boost may have a complex impact. In an experiment conducted at the University of Colorado Boulder, researchers found participants who briefly held a cup of hot coffee judged a person as having a “warmer” personality than those who held an iced coffee. The researchers concluded that holding warm objects makes one feel more comfortable and open around others.

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