In Part One I described how personality can lead to unconscious bias, and lamented the fact that there isn’t more research on this topic. The Process Communication Model (PCM) gives us a framework for unpacking the six personality types IN each of us, and how each one can have unconscious bias. Each person has all six types in them, arranged in a preferred, set order. Our most developed types are most likely to have unconscious bias against the least developed types.
I searched the internet for “unconscious bias and personality”, and this Forbes article is the best I could find.
Personality influences how people perceive the world, natural character strengths, how they are motivated, how they prefer to communicate, even how they can become prejudicial in distress. By its very nature, personality causes unconscious bias. It influences how systems and structures evolve to favor certain types over others, and keeps us from including types who are different from us. Why has there not been more attention paid to this?
The Forbes article I found mentioned only two types of personality bias; Thinking and Feeling. I’m glad someone has started the conversation but there’s so much more to it. If we are going to talk about personality, we need a better framework than Myers-Briggs, which is notoriously unreliable.
At Next Element we use The Process Communication Model (PCM) because it is a behavior-based, researched model of communication and individual differences that unpacks the psychology of behavior for different types, including their perceptual frames of reference. According to PCM, we all have six different personality types IN us, arranged in a preferred, set order. Our foundational, base type, is apparent at birth or within a few months, the other five are arranged by age six according to developmental psychology and social influence principles. There are 720 different ways that these six “floors” can be ordered.
Types IN people, instead of types OF people, is fundamentally important and relevant to unconscious bias. Personality models that speak to types OF people inherently invite “othering,” entitlement, and prejudice. PCM describes six types IN each of us, each with its own perceptual filter, a preferred way of seeing the world. Because we all have all six types IN us, there is no other. We are all connected, and all have within us the capacity to appreciate and connect with any other type.
Nevertheless, we all have preferences. Each personality type in us has unique the key to connecting, communicating, motivating, and growing. Being aware of this opens up tremendous possibility. Without awareness, though, our personality can become a source of unconscious bias favoring types that are stronger within us, and discriminating against types with whom we are less familiar.
In Part 2 I reveal the unconscious bias of each type. Meanwhile, consider these questions:
- If you’ve taken a personality assessment, what have you learned about your unconscious bias? How do you view people who share similar traits, or who are quite different from you?
- How does your personality impact your behavior around hiring and selection, reward systems, or choice of friends?
Copyright Next Element Consulting, LLC 2020
My next book is coming out in July. Seeing People Through is all about appreciating and leveraging personality diversity in leadership.
Want to join my launch team?
Would you rather be drained or tired?
I’ve worked with hundreds of leaders who are heading towards burnout because they are drained so much of the time. Unlike being tired, being drained doesn’t go away with rest and refueling.
Being drained is perpetuated by three myths.
The Myth: Don’t make waves, don’t speak up, and avoid conflict because silence is a small price to pay to keep people happy.
The Drain: Energy wasted on things you can’t control while neglecting your own boundaries and needs.
The Compassionate Solution: Be Open. Share your real feelings without blaming anyone. It’s OK to own your stuff because you are worth it. You will be tired, but you will have self-respect.
The Myth: Give advice, fix problems, and show your expertise because we need to save people from their struggles.
The Drain: Energy is wasted on non-consensual helping which invites dependence and resentment, so you end up doing other people’s work for them. It’s a vicious cycle.
The Compassionate Solution: Be Resourceful. Get curious and meet people there they are at. Ask permission to help and treat people like they are capable. You will be tired from resisting your urge to help, and your people will begin solving their own problems.
The Myth: It’s okay to be the bad guy. Strength equals respect. Strong arm people if necessary because it’s your duty to get things done no matter what.
The Drain: Everything becomes a battle and collateral damage is the norm.
The Compassionate Solution: Be Persistent. Communicate what’s important. Be a role-model and ask people to step up. Follow through on commitments and consequences with dignity and respect. You will be tired and you will experience more ownership and loyalty.
Drained leaders spin their wheels and never recover. Tired leaders get results and sleep great. When you replace the drain of myths with compassion, it hurts so good.
Copyright Next Element Consulting, LLC 2020
Einstein said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.” I disagree.
Here’s what I believe.
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over knowing you’ll get the same results, but wishing for something different.
Humans are creatures of habit. We do the same things over and over because deep down we want the same results. We want things to be predictable because that doesn’t require us to take risks and be brave.
Yet we wish for more. We crave better relationships, more meaningful work, a purposeful life, inclusion, and the satisfaction of contributing. We can wish for something different, but until we adopt a new mindset and skills, we would be insane to expect anything different.
The answer to end the insanity is compassion. To be human is to have compassion.
Compassion is what connects us and gets us back on track when we lose our way. Compassion is the key to our survival. Compassion is how we make diversity our greatest strength.
Unfortunately, as humans we’ve developed some compassion habits that are holding us back, even though we wish for more and often have good intentions.
Five Misconceptions About Compassion
1. Compassion is all about empathy.
Wrong. Compassion is much more than a feeling. It’s also about creative problem-solving and accountability.
2. Compassion is a soft skill.
Wrong. Compassion is a life skill. It’s not for the faint of heart.
3. Compassion is just for self-less servant leaders.
Wrong. Compassion honors our own needs and boundaries too. Did you know that practicing compassion stimulates the reward centers of the brain?
4. Compassion is something that comes naturally; you either have it or you don’t.
Wrong. Compassion can be learned and doesn’t require a touchy-feely personality.
5. Compassion is about alleviating suffering.
Wrong. Compassion is about suffering alongside to enhance people’s value, capability, and responsibility. We are in this together.
Here’s our definition of compassion that corrects these five misconceptions.
Compassion is the practice of demonstrating that people are valuable, capable, and responsible in every interaction.
Compassion is a habit, a way of life that is cultivated daily and manifested through our behavior, in every interaction.
Because people are valuable, everyone deserves to be heard, affirmed, safe, invited, and included.
Because people are capable, everyone deserves the invitation to contribute, participate, take ownership, and be part of the solution.
Because people are responsible, everyone is accountable for their feelings, thoughts, and actions. Not just one of these, but all three. All the time. In every interaction. And it applies to you too.
How would you act differently if you believed that everyone, including you, was valuable, capable, and responsible?
Einstein also said this, “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”
Change the way you look at compassion and your world will change.
Copyright Next Element Consulting, LLC 2020
This content was originally published here.
Self-Aware leaders are able to bring their best selves to work while also bringing out the best in others. Self-conscious leaders are more absorbed with themselves and less effective as leaders.
A relative of mine who is a teacher went all year without hearing any affirmation from her boss. At the end of the year she asked her supervisor if she had done anything positive. “Sure, lots,” was the response. Why did the boss withhold this information all year?
2020 will be a year of great challenge and great opportunity. Division and drama are at an all time high. Globally 85% of workers are not engaged or actively disengaged at work. Yet everywhere we travel around the world, leaders tell us they are craving positive connections and authentic relationships. They are tired of the drain and want their energy back! They are looking for a better way.
Happy New Year! I want to send out a heartfelt thank you to all of my subscribers. I appreciate your support, your comments, and this remarkable community of people who care about better communication and more compassion at work. In keeping with tradition, here are the most read posts from my blog in 2019.
Top 10 Fake News Stories of 2019
The drama mavens would prefer that you to believe these fake narratives because they keep you small and afraid and willing to accept anything.
- Overnight success is just a click away
- Power builds safety
- Difference is the enemy
- There’s not enough to go around
- My beliefs are better
- Vulnerability is weak
- Life is a competition
- You don’t need anyone else
- Other people can make you feel good or bad
- A better phone camera will make you more popular
The Struggle Is Real
Struggle is not a bad thing. Conflict is not something to be avoided or used as a weapon. Diversity is not the enemy. Life isn’t supposed to be easy and fit into neat categories.
Compassion Headlines You Can Believe
Compassion is the practice of demonstrating that people are valuable, capable, and responsible. Compassion fosters connection, innovation, and purpose. Here are some news stories you can believe.
- There’s a positive purpose for diversity
- Conflict is natural and produces energy
- The purpose of conflict is to create, not destroy
- Connection, not division, is the key to our strength and survival
- Vulnerability requires courage and builds trust
- Leadership is about leveraging diverse gifts towards shared goals
- There is plenty to go around when you adopt an abundance mindset
- There are no shortcuts
- You are 100% responsible for your feelings, thoughts, and behaviors
- A better phone camera will reveal more of your imperfections
What if you embraced these true compassion stories for 2020. How could your life and your relationships change? How much better could you become as a leader?
Copyright Next Element Consulting, LLC 2019
With The Compassion Mindset Course you can stop the drain of negative workplace interactions turn that energy into greater connection, engagement, and productivity.
This year I launched my new podcast, OnCompassion with Dr. Nate. Learning leadership lessons from my guests has been so rewarding.
At the end of each episode I consolidate and share my top three takeaways. Here are several leadership lessons I thought were particularly rich.
The Action Is In The Interaction – Doug Conant
Leaders have 200-400 interactions per day of less than 2-min. Your legacy as a leader will be dependent on how you handle those interactions. Life is too fragmented and dynamic to rely on traditional approaches to communication – tomorrow’s leaders have to be fluid in the small moments.
Compassion Requires Boundaries – Laura Cole
Laura’s horse, Watson, has a habit of nibbling shirts. Yet successful executives at the top of their game allow him to bite holes in their shirts because they don’t want to be mean or don’t know how to stop it. Lack of boundaries isn’t nice. It deprives others of a more healthy way to interact with us and form a meaningful relationship. And, it invites us to form negative opinions of others who seem to disrespect our wants and needs.
Vulnerability Is A Secret Weapon – Jody Horner
With help from an executive coach, coupled with her desire to make more meaningful, positive connections with people, Jody went from believing that she needed to make sure there were no chinks in her armor – being professional to a fault – to showing more of her real self at work. What she experienced was that her credibility as a leader went through the roof.
Will you help me raise awareness of OnCompassion With Dr. Nate? Subscribe, rate on iTunes, and share with your tribe. New episodes will launch every month. Thanks for your help!