Habit # 6


We now come to the second phase of the program which includes 3 activities whose objective is to use system 2, the explicit and controlled system. This system allows complex operations that require concentration and attention.

This week, we invite you to practice a new habit of how you assign day-to-day projects and responsibilities within your team.

After 5 to 10 years of professional experience, certain “diverse” profiles are often less promoted than “homogeneous” profiles. Some people believe that these differences are solely due to bias in performance assessment, talent identification, or promotion decisions. It is true that biases often impact these decisions.

A simple solution is to ensure an equal proportion of “diverse” and “homogeneous” profiles among “high performers”, high potentials, or those promoted. While it is desirable to measure possible deviations and understand the cause, seeking to resolve them by directly enforcing quotas is often not desirable. First of all, managers are generally not in favor and such a directive policy would meet with resistance. Then, the biases make that sometimes, in an objective way, the performance or the potential of such profiles are different. Ensuring systematic proportionality in promotions, for example, would then have the consequence of reducing the performance of the company: less efficient people would potentially be promoted. However, managerial bias reduces the performance of the people who are the target by around 20%. It is therefore necessary to intervene at the very source of these differences in performance.

We must therefore ensure that all profiles have the same opportunity to deliver high performance and express their potential.

The diagnoses we have carried out in many companies show that women and profiles potentially targeted by bias often have fewer opportunities to learn and develop. This difference often begins as soon as they join the company.

In fact, on a day-to-day basis, managers often tend to attribute the most visible projects and the most interesting responsibilities to “homogeneous” profiles.

For example, in team meetings, key appointments with priority clients will be more easily assigned to a man than to a woman who, on paper, have the same position and the same title. Between two men, the one from the dominant ethnic group will also have more opportunities than the one from a different origin. The same goes for special projects or sensitive subjects.

All these small day-to-day attribution differences, often not very visible, will give “homogeneous” profiles more visibility internally and more resources to achieve their objectives. Day by day, they will benefit from more feedback both from their direct manager but also from many people in other functions within the company. Over time, they will therefore effectively become more efficient.


Distribute responsibilities in your team objectively.
Make sure everyone has the opportunity to work on issues that are visible, interesting and learning. See who is attending meetings.
Provide support and positive feedback to everyone.
Once these responsibilities are assigned, ensure that everyone has the same opportunities to succeed. Give confidence!

Analyse how you make your decisions; for example, start practicing “meta-cognition”.

On a daily basis, evaluate your decisions regularly. If you have any doubts, try to understand what reasoning you applied and why you came to the decision made. During the next activities, we will give you tips to improve your meta-cognition skills.

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