Last week, I witnessed a cognitive bias at work. Several possibly.
I was facilitating an event with 17 others. It was just them and I, but not in an organisational sense. For the first time in my career I didn’t have the cushion of knowing that I was a step removed from what needed to be changed or transformed. This time it was my company, my department, my team.
We were discussing and formulating plans around our culture, how we communicate and interact and what skills we need to face the future. and a mass of other things.
It’s easy to assume that the folks attending probably didn’t want to be there. They probably didn’t care. I knew from talking to colleagues that a good few were keen to go, had something to say and would work on what we want to achieve (a better tomorrow, a better place to work, more fun, less work, more money, more freebies, less bureaucracy – the usual stuff). I assumed we’d have a mix, and we did.
I didn’t assume that some of the attendees would be nervous and scared. They didn’t know what to expect nor what we’d expect of them. I didn’t expect that. I was nervous – my agenda, my content, my structure all about me. I was too preoccupied about that to consider it from another perspective. No harm was done, but I realised this at the end of the day, and wish I’d picked up on it earlier. I write this now so I do remember.