skip to main content

Be Impartial

Are you impartial?

Can you watch a competitive event, such as a football game, an election, or a spelling bee, and not instinctively pick someone you want to win, even though you have no vested interest in the outcome?

Neither can I.

To Be Impartial

Everyone has conscious and unconscious biases. It doesn’t necessarily mean we’re prejudiced — biases are simply the way we view the world and the people around us based on our background, culture, and self-identity.

We are automatically partial to something or someone—it’s the way we are wired.

Being partial is not inherently bad, but it can become a problem when we allow personal beliefs and preferences to creep into objective decision-making processes.

As a business leader and entrepreneur, it’s essential to become aware of our own biases and actively work to set them aside when making business decisions.

Here are several suggestions to help you overcome your biases and be impartial.

  1. Recruit a diverse team – hearing from people with different life experiences exposes our biases and expands our choices.
  2. Wait before making a decision – making impulsive and emotional decisions is the easiest way to let your biases get the best of you.
  3. Step back and look at the bigger picture – don’t get wrapped up in the day-to-day aspects of running your business, take a 10,000-foot view to really see things clearly.
  4. Rely on data – understanding how your bias might impact you is a good step to ensure you’re looking objectively at the current picture of your business.
  5. Remove yourself from the equation – being impartial is tough. Emotions generally run high when you’re making decisions on things you’re passionate about. Think about what’s best for your business and its growth — not just what’s best for you.

Being Partial

While there is a time to be impartial, there is also a time to be biased towards your solution.

Bias is a tendency to lean in a certain direction, either in favor of or against a particular thing. To be truly biased means to lack a neutral viewpoint on a particular topic.

Somewhere along the line, being bias took on a negative connotation. Our current culture proclaims that being biased is bad—but that’s not always true.

If you’re biased toward something, then you lean favorably toward it; you tend to think positively of it. Meanwhile, if you’re biased against something, then you lean negatively against it; you tend to think poorly of it.

Truthfully, everyone has biases, preferences, and prejudices, and there are times for us to be biased.

For example, if we are a consultant, we are paid to develop a bias towards a certain solution, product, or person.  We are paid to have a professional opinion.

If our supervisor asks us for our opinion, we need to have one.  We need to be biased on how we could make our operation run better, who we should pursue as clients, and which employees need additional support.  We need to be biased when it is part of our job.

The Bible

Fortunately, we serve an unbiased and impartial God. Romans 2:9-11 says.

There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek,  but glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek.  For God shows no partiality.

God being unbiased and impartial means that He bases His treatment of others on the right kind of considerations.  He doesn’t choose to save people based on how wealthy they are, or how old or young they are.  God’s will, and God’s will alone, determines who He saves.

As business leaders, we need to be impartial when called to be impartial and biased when called to be biased.  What is important is that we know when we are impartial and when we are biased.  And base all our decisions and actions accordingly.