“Why don’t you lift lighter weights? I won’t be mad.”
This was directed to a female, student-athlete and friend during training.
Her chosen weight set was appropriate for her strength level. She felt demoralized by the suggestion from her coach.
Her initial reaction was: would this have been said to a male athlete?
This is just one example of performance bias.
Perhaps the person wasn’t aware of his implicit bias toward female athletes. He also wasn’t aware of the impact that statement had on her performance that day.
What can we do?
The first step is becoming aware of your own biases.
Question your first impression.
Call out bias when it happens, and empower others to do so too.
Don’t just simply be “not part of the problem.”
Be an active part in the solution.
I get it, this kind of stuff is uncomfortable to hear and discuss.
Sometimes, it’s really subtle.
But, it’s important to identify and fix.
Bias leads to disengagement and underperformance.
Set positive expectations.
Get positive results.