The fourth of the Five Steps to a Good Decision is to Check for Bias.
A good decision is one that advances us towards where we want to be.
Bias can distract us from our Widget in two ways:
- From brains wired to drown out rational thought by screaming 'RUN!' or 'KILL IT!' in response to new information.
- From egos that put our Weekend Widget ahead of our boss's Widget.
The first Three Steps to a Good Decision often quell the screaming in its more sophisticated 21st century workplace manifestations.
The second is mostly tackled in long and overly complicated policies around 'conflicts of interest.'
The easiest way to detect whether we have this kind of bias is to ask ourselves:
‘Am I able to apply my mind to the information and assess its merits and exercise my discretion unhindered by any personal investment in its outcome?’
If you do feel personally invested, you need to tell your boss and let her decide whether you should refer the decision to someone else.
After all, she's paying you to build her Widget.