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A Perfect Example of Unconscious Bias

24th January 2023

Waking The Dead, Frozen and Happiness Hours



It’s been another chilly week with frost and snow. Unfortunately, we’ve not had enough snow here to build a snowman or go sledging.I love lots of things about snow and how pretty frost makes everything look. But it can be a pain when you need to be somewhere.Last Wednesday, I was heading out early to see a client. It was still dark, and the car was covered in snow. I headed out with a soft sweeping brush to follow my usual process:1. Brush the snow off the car.2. Take the de-icer out of the boot and spray the windows.3. Switch the engine on (and heated seats) to start warming up the car while I pop the brush back in the side and lock it up.Takes about 5 minutes. Job’s a good-un.But Mother Nature’s attempted to freeze me in my tracks last week. The snow had frozen on the car, and all the car doors were frozen shut! So, it came down to the old warm water in the bucket trick. 😁Lesson learned: always keep some de-icing products outside the car or risk being locked in a frozen prison.As we approach the end of January, I can’t wait for the ‘Queen Extravaganza’ at The Lowry. It’s my first show of the year and another one that had to be rearranged due to Covid. There’s nothing I love more than belting out Bohemian Rhapsody at the top of my lungs.I hope you’ve managed to do a few fun things to keep yourself busy this month. If so, I’d love to hear what you’ve been up to and any recommendations you have.To keep you occupied today, here are this week’s top picks.

Article of the Week: 5 Things to Declutter to Prepare For a Productive 2023

Decluttering is one of my goals this year. I’m terrible for keeping things ‘just in case’. I still find myself reluctant to dispose of things I haven’t used for years, and it needs to stop. Therefore, I’ve set myself the task of decluttering my life over the course of the year.I read this article from Inc. and loved the first point about mindset. So, instead of ‘What if I need it someday?’ I’m asking myself questions like: “What could this make room for that I actually need?” or “Who might need this now?”. It’s made a huge difference.What could you do with decluttering this year? Take a look at the article and see if it gives you some inspiration either of what to do or how to do it.

#TopTip: Build a ‘happiness hour’ to your day to build a good work-life balance

Never feel guilty for taking the time to recharge your batteries or taking an hour to do something for yourself.
Getting a balance between work and life isn’t just about spending more time with friends and family. You need some ‘You’ time when you can be completely selfish and solely focus on your own needs. We spend so much time doing things to fulfill other people’s needs, and if we want to continue doing that, we need to take care of ourselves.I do various things during my happiness hours, but recently, I’ve got back into puzzle books. It’s so lovely to sit in the quiet, away from screens, and exercise your brain a little. I’ve started working through The Perfect Crime Puzzle Book by Dr Gareth Moore. I’ll let you know how I find it when I get a bit further into the book.

Recommended Read: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People - Stephen Covey, 1989

Most people have heard of the book, but I meet a lot of people who haven’t read it. It doesn’t surprise me. Although it contains so much great stuff, how it is written can make it a little hard going. However, I found that the audiobook was easier.If you don’t know what the book is about, Stephen Covey examines the common characteristics of many successful people over time. Through his research, he discovered that these seven habits play a key in success;
  1. Be proactive: Take the initiative and take control of your life.
  2. Begin with the end in mind: Have a clear vision of your goals and objectives.
  3. Put first things first: Prioritise your tasks and focus on what is most important.
  4. Think win-win: Strive for mutual benefit in relationships and interactions.
  5. Seek first to understand, then to be understood: Actively listen to others and try to understand their perspectives before communicating your own.
  6. Synergise: Work effectively with others to achieve more than you could alone.
  7. Sharpen the saw: Take care of your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being.
Have you got positive habits in each of these areas, or are there some that could use more focus?

Story Time

Do you ever notice unconscious bias on TV?

As I was binge-watching one of my all-time favourite series, ‘Waking The Dead,’ I couldn’t help but notice a topic we’ve been closely examining recently.The episode involved a case where a man had entered a multi-story garage and shot multiple people. The team working on the cold case visited the car park to help understand what had happened.The lead detective explained that the gunman had opened fire on a couple seated in a vehicle. The woman was tragically hit, but the man managed to play dead until the police arrived. Another team member enquired, “Why didn’t he just drive away?”. The lead detective responded, “Because he was in the passenger seat.”It was clear that the officer had an unconscious bias that the man would be in the driver’s seat when in reality, he was the passenger.Although we can’t eradicate unconscious bias, we can bring it into our conscious awareness to better control our actions. For example, in this scenario, the team member could ask, “Who was sat in the driver’s seat?”. This question would still help them understand the scenario better without making assumptions that need to be corrected or could be detrimental to the situation.It’s moments like these that remind me how common unconscious bias can be in our everyday lives. Once you become aware of it, it’s almost impossible to miss. It’s also a reminder that we must always be vigilant and work to overcome these biases.

That’s all from me this week. But if you have any decluttering tips of your own, professional development or puzzle book recommendations, I’d love to hear them.In the meantime, remember to block out some ‘you’ time to treat yourself. You deserve it!

Kind regards,

Gemma 💜

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