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.
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