To achieve Step 13, individuals will show that they can think about bias when looking to understand different perspectives.
In the previous two steps, the focus has been on listening critically by comparing perspectives and then thinking about what might underpin individuals having those different views. This step builds on this by investigating whether a perspective is biased.
The building blocks of this step are learning:
In education, we are often presented with different perspectives on topical issues. This might be during debates, in extra-curricular clubs or societies or within specific subjects such as Humanities. As we move through school, college or university, we build up our knowledge and understanding of the world through listening to and analysing different perspectives. Through a greater awareness of different types of cognitive bias and prejudice and being able to identify them, we are more likely to recognise when they are being used and ensure that they do not influence our opinions or result in us forming unfounded arguments.
In the workplace, we listen to many different people share their perspectives on a variety of issues. These might relate to a company’s values, policies or strategic direction. When others share their viewpoints, being able to identify potential cognitive biases and prejudices is important when making decisions or supporting suggestions and proposals. It is essential that you can recognise bias in different perspectives to ensure that you support ideas that are representative of the company and beneficial to your customers or clients.
It is also an important tool when it comes to recruitment. When sorting through applications, conducting interviews and screening potential new hires, potential biases can influence which candidates are best supported. By understanding and recognising when there might be potential bias in an individual’s perspective, you can make informed and objective decisions on who will be best for a particular role.
When making important decisions in our wider lives, it is crucial that we give ourselves time to think critically about matters. Cognitive bias and prejudices can lead to the wrong decisions being made as they provide shortcuts that prevent us from considering what is objectively best. When forming opinions, considering who to vote for or deciding where to live, it’s important that we are able to identify if people who are sharing their perspectives with us are influenced by biases. If we are able to think critically, we can identify the information that can help us and filter out unfair biases.
To best practise this step of Listening, apply what you have learnt to a real-life situation. Choose one or more of the activities below, remind yourself of the key points and strategies in the step, and have a go!
To teach this step:
This is a good step to reinforce in lots of different parts of advanced studies. For instance, in reviewing topics in history or literature to identify where the writer had a biased perspective on events.
It is also helpful to encourage learners to think about what they are reading or listening to more generally, and to spot examples of different types of bias.
This step can be effectively assessed in a couple of ways:
This step is particularly relevant for individuals who have to consider different perspective to reach decisions, particularly where they might be controversial.
To build this step in the work environment, managers could:
There are plenty of opportunities for building this skill in the workplace:
For those already employed, this step is best assessed through questioning. For instance:
During the recruitment process, this step could be assessed by:
We work with a wide range of organisations, who use the Skills Builder approach in lots of different settings – from youth clubs, to STEM organisations, to careers and employability providers.
We have a lot of materials available to support you to use the Skills Builder Universal Framework with the individuals you work with, including:
We also do a lot of work with organisations who join the Skills Builder Partnership to build the Universal Framework into their work and impact measurement systems. You can find out a lot more using the links below.
As a parent or carer, you might be thinking about how best to support your children to build their essential skills. The good news is that there is lots that you can do that will have a big impact, including:
We’ve developed a whole series of tools and resources to help parents to build these skills, including:
There is also content for older children and young people, including short activities and reflections that they can complete alone, or with you.