Feedback Challenges: Bias in Feedback
In this video I want to discuss five common types of bias we find in feedback – and what you can do to minimize each of these forms of bias in feedback.
Watching this video is worth 2 Management Courses CPD Points*.
🔎 See below for details
This video is part of course module number 3.8.5
Program 3: Managing & Leading Individuals
Course 8: Feedback
Section 5: Feedback Challenges
This is our tendency to notice evidence that confirms our pre-existing beliefs (prejudices) and to not notice or discount evidence that seems to conflict with what we expect or think is true.
We minimize confirmation bias by gathering raw data and analyzing it following strict procedures. Where we find surprising results, we test them rigorously.
Horns or Halo effect
This is our tendency to extend our experience of a person in one sphere to other contexts.
Likewise, if I see you struggle and underperform at one job, I will likely expect you to do so in other situations.
We minimize the horns or halo effect by evaluating each situation on its own merits, gathering fresh data each time.
This bias arises from determining which situations you will observe – and which parts you will focus on. As a result, we minimize this either by either:
• observing everything, or by
• determining what to observe by using a random process like the roll of a dice
Recency or Availability bias
This is our tendency to base our assessment on the most recent (or easy to recall) experience and therefore discounting prior experiences.
One way to minimize this bias is to give feedback often – so all feedback is recent. Another is to collect data continuously, and synthesize it all.
Agency or Attribution bias
This bias is our tendency to assume things happen for a reason. Errors are always somebody’s fault and successes are because of their excellence. In so doing, we are eliminating the effects of randomness.
If your colleague has a run of good or bad luck and you ascribe it to excellence or incompetence, you are doing them a big disservice.
Minimize this by asking how much ability did they really have to influence outcomes (this is agency).
And also look at the widest possible array of performance factors, over a longer time period. Runs of luck end. Strengths just go on growing, if you feed them with good feedback.
1. Think about feedback you have given or observations you have made in recent months. What forms of bias might you have succumbed to? (3 MC CPD Points)
2. What changes do you need to make to your observation, assessment, and feedback processes, to reduce bias in feedback that you give? (3 MC CPD Points)
📖 Feedback (and Other Dirty Words): Why We Fear It, How to Fix It https://geni.us/Pg4gk
📖 Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well https://geni.us/OtdDnSy
📖 HBR Guide to Delivering Effective Feedback https://geni.us/h0cN
📖 Feedback Pocketbook https://geni.us/D8Ar
📖 Feedback Toolkit: 16 Tools for Better Communication in the Workplace https://geni.us/x8TGT4
⭕️ Links to our book recommendations are affiliated through Amazon
Managers Need a Basic set of kit to do your job well. Here are my top recommendations: https://kit.co/MikeClayton/manager-s-work-kit (the links are affiliated)
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