There is no room for prejudice in an INPowering leader. The second tenet of the INPowered2 LEAD philosophy is, “Everything is personal, and everyone matters . . . Every human is equally valuable without exception.”
You would be offended if someone pre-judged you negatively without knowing you as an individual. Yet, we do it frequently. Prejudice can seep through even when we try to remain untainted by it. It’s almost reflexive–a kneejerk response that lingers unless we recognize it, isolate it, and purge it.
Prejudice comes from sloppy thinking
More often than not, our prejudice comes to us second hand. We adopt the opinions and attitudes of the group we run with. We absorb that culture and norms for our own without testing the facts of what others are telling us we should believe.
The prejudice is confirmed when our own experience or observation supports it. What we don’t realize is we experienced what we subconsciously expected to experience, so our expectations are affirmed. It’s a vicious cycle of compounded misperceptions. Our misperception is our reality.
I can understand forming an opinion of someone after taking the time to get to know them. But doing so without first-hand individual information, or on hearsay, is foolish.
Beware those who peddle prejudice
Flagrant prejudice borders on a character flaw. Bigotry is its natural evolution. It is the making of the hardhearted and stiff-necked. It leads to deeper suspicions and discord that are largely unfounded in reality. The natural consequence is mass paranoia toward classes of people who are, for the most part, no different at their core than you or I.
Humorist, Will Rogers is famous for saying, “I never met a man I didn’t like.” Why do you suppose that was? Do you think, perhaps, he looked for the likeable qualities in each individual instead of dwelling on their flaws or quirks?
What if we did likewise?
The INPowered cut through the prejudice
The INPowered leader helps us find comfort in a world that is less prejudiced and more understanding.
The INPowered leader holds individuals accountable for individual acts instead of labeling classes of people for individual acts.
The INPowered leader seeks out the facts behind events to accurately determine the true nature of those events and the threats or opportunities they pose.
The INPowered leader is honest about his or her own prejudiced tendencies and strives to become more understanding and tolerant as they learn how to govern their own biases.