Accounting For Bias, Prejudice, Ego, And Perspective

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• Your perspective on life is what makes you unique, but it can also be a source of isolation, misunderstanding, and conflict.

• A pre-conceived notion about who another person is may be the single biggest obstacle on the path to genuine empathy for them. Getting rid of bias is about more than guarding against sexism or racism and more about consciously choosing to remember that all people are united in their shared humanity.

• Prejudice is pre-judging what another’s experience is and what it means. Stereotypes and categories undermine authentic connections with others. Bias is a filter through which all the information we receive about that person is distorted. Being empathic is not just about being kind. It’s about clear, accurate perception and genuine comprehension of another worldview.

• To tackle your own prejudice, first acknowledge that you do have it! Consciously choose to expose yourself to the unfamiliar and challenge yourself to empathize not just with similarity but with difference. Assume there is always a common ground between you and another individual and actively choose to focus on that instead of what is different.

• Forget the Golden Rule and remember that the very meaning of compassion, kindness, and empathy changes depending on the recipient. Show people compassion, but on their terms, not yours.

• In interactions, try to explore: what the other person thinks about themselves, what the other person thinks about you, what you think about them, and what you think about yourself. This can be especially helpful during a conflict.

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