women only Dec 19, 2020

I love working to understand people and why we think and behave the way we do. Let's face it - most of the time we're not all that logical!

One of the areas I've been looking at lately are our biases and how they might show up, particularly around gender. There are a lot of them and I wanted to touch on some over the next few days.

Today's one is 'The Likeability Bias'

We expect men to be assertive, so when they lead, it feels natural. We expect women to be kind and communal, so when they assert themselves, we like them less.

This can lead to the Double Bind effect - damned if you do (if you're assertive people don't like you and you don't get promoted), damned if you don't (if you aren't assertive you're not seen as a 'leader').

One way I've worked to overcome this bias is to use both my masculine and feminine energies at different times. Sometimes the situation calls for consensus building or empathy, sometimes more for directness or 'tough love'.

Have you seen this likeability bias at your work? Do you think the double bind is really a thing? Let us know in the comments if you have worked out how to navigate this one!

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