Knowledge Expansion

How To Avoid Bias In Your Day-To-Day Management Decisions

Fellowship Paper

Performance Management

Leadership Development

Culture & Engagement

Brad Wakefield MBA, FACMPE
Research has shown that bias is a factor in decision-making in medicine and business.  Medical decisions are becoming less biased as the industry moves toward evidenced based medicine.  Management decisions should move in the same direction.  In order to begin that process we need to have a better understanding of bias and how it effects our decisions.

There are hundreds of different kinds of bias that effect decision making.  One common theme of these biases is that they are short cuts to getting to a decision.  These short cuts are helpful in some circumstances, but in other circumstances they lead to less than optimal decision-making.  Another theme is that our emotions can lead to bias, which leads to decisions that are not always rational.  We think of ourselves as very rational people, but our opinion of ourselves is biased.

Most Managers are not aware of how bias effects their decisions.  Decision-making and bias research is not something normally taught in healthcare management programs.  Being aware of biases is the first step in overcoming their effects on our decisions.

Specific biases, such as confirmation bias, anchoring bias, and the availability heuristic are commonly found in our management decisions.  For each bias there are strategies that we can employ to overcome them.  Both individuals and groups exhibit bias in decision-making, and we should be aware of how they can happen to us as individuals and when we are working as teams.

We should not be surprised that we are not totally rational beings.  By learning about bias and how it affects us, we can make better decisions.  We should follow our physician colleagues and move management decision making forward using evidenced based best practice. Download Now

About the Author

Brad Wakefield MBA, FACMPE
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