- Suggestion: What ministry or project is not working and draining your soul? If you could magically make it go away, how would you feel? If, as you imagine it gone, you feel a great weight off your shoulders, you may have succumbed to this bias. It may be time to kill that program or project. In this post I unpack this bias in more detail.
The correspondence bias. This bias is also called the fundamental attribution error. This happens when we attribute unseemly behavior of others to their character or personality but when do the same thing, we attribute it to external circumstances.
- Suggestion: Give people the benefit of the doubt. Our brains are wired to be negative and assume the worst. Unless a behavior is really egregious, tone down your judgmentalism until you get the facts.
The halo bias or halo effect.
This bias mirrors the previous bias. It affects us when we make unrealistic judgments about a person’s ability to perform a task or judge their character based on positive qualities we see in him or her. Ministry expectations can easily fall to this bias. Church people can assume that because a new pastor has good speaking skills that he also must be a superb organizer, is great at hospital visitation, and is an excellent counselor. Unfortunately, most pastors can’t excel in every ministry area.
- Suggestion: Find the core strengths of those you work with, both volunteer and paid. Help them develop those skills without trying to make them who God did not create them to be.
Bias can sneak into any leader’s life. Inventory your leadership and honestly ask if any of these brain biases have slipped in. If they have, create a simple plan to deal with them, sooner than later.
This article on brain biases originally appeared here, and is used by permission.