Dirt in your skirt blog

What’s Your Bias?

Posted on February 17, 2016 by Margaret Schlachter

tunnel-vision-298x282What is your bias? We all have them. No matter the topic of conversation, we all have our own bias that led us to think one way or another. There is no getting around bias, it is always there, always with us. But the question becomes, what is our bias?

Working in the sports world, especially an emerging sport, everyone has an opinion on how a race company, event, or the industry as a whole should function. We all have an “ideal” view of the sport through our own set of lenses. We all want to see “our sport” grow in the direction “we think” is best overall.


What can easily happen is in pushing our own version of a sport, event, or race company we often put our blinders on to the rest of the possibilities. Currently, I am back in school finishing my masters after over a four-year break. The two classes I am taking are Methods of Social Research and Collaborative Consultation. In both classes the topic of bias has come up, which has had me thinking about all the conversations I have with people within the OCR World.Everyone seems to have “their way” for how the industry must go. Or how X race should do Y to succeed or capture more market share. It is a

Everyone seems to have “their way” for how the industry must go. Or how X race should do Y to succeed or capture more market share. This is not inherently a bad thing, innovation comes from pushing boundaries and applying new ideas from across the board. However, often I see an issue arise due to those blinders we create. When we get stuck on an idea and are passionate about it, often we lose sight of the rest of the world around us.

We are so invested in our own ideas we brush off everyone else’s before really listening to them. We weaken our own cause when our bias (often called Tunnel Vision) gets in the way of innovation. As part of my job I constantly look at the state of OCR and constantly hear from people how it should go this way or that way. Everyone always leaning towards their bias.

For myself, things are not as cut and dry anymore. The more I learn the more I learn to except my own bias, acknowledge it, then try to put it aside and see what other possibilities are out there. I tend to take a more 30,000-foot view these days, not just in sport but in life as a whole.

Instead of getting pissed when someone cuts me off, gives a nasty look, or skips a thank you if a door is held open. I try to think about them, their day, and not just myself. To me once we begin to acknowledge our biases, the good and the bad, we can begin to work on a higher level for the greater good of a sport, or community, or the world as a whole.