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Analyzing Art as a Way to Combat Bias

People struggle to deal to with the personal bias they have and how it impacts their thoughts, decisions, and how they are motivated. And yet the very awareness around personal/cultural bias is what is needed if leaders and organizations are going to sustain success in a globally connected, interdependent world.

image credit: Jean Fan

One way of introducing and exploring bias is through the analysis of a work of art. Why does this work: because we have aesthetic bias as well as confirmation bias. By discussing what we see, symbolically, politically, culturally, emotionally and cognitively we can enter into a dialogue about bias through a different lens to discover how it shapes who we are and what we think and feel. When we analyze in this way, we (the organization) can dive deeper into communication gaps that exist, conflict that is unresolved, and opportunities that are unexplored.
To facilitate this learning I take clients/teams through the following steps: Empathy, self-awareness, insight, collaboration, communication, realization.
“Confirmation bias influences our aesthetic judgments just as it does any other judgment” Samuel McNerney

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