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How Leaders Use People’s Perception and Biases to Manage Employees

Paper Type: Free Assignment Study Level: University / Undergraduate
Wordcount: 1323 words Published: 2nd Jun 2020

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The article is about how a leader uses people’s perceptions and biases to achieve their goals efficiently. However, the leader needs to be non-judgmental in any situations, and not standing by any side. Valerio (2019) states that people can gain comprehension, synergism, equity and harmony due to the biases in non-judgmental awareness. He mentioned four biases in the article, including similarity bias, confirmation bias, character bias, and situational bias. For each bias, the author provided examples, excellent explanations, and reality applications. In the similarity bias section, Valerio (2019) suggested that people usually categorize others and will be more agreeableness with the ones who have similar opinions. Moreover, people prefer to talk and stand with a similar one no matter he is good or bad. Yale’s Infant Cognition Center set up an experiment to observe the baby’s perception. The result of this experiment is that the infant selects the puppet who chosen the same cereal as him. According to this experiment, Valerio (2019) recommend that leader to distinguish the identify similarities between employees, to build a positive relationship with employees and make the company more united. People usually seek information and data to prove or disprove their beliefs, this is confirmation bias. For example, if the scientists didn’t find any data or evidence to disprove their hypothesis, then they must accept it. The author suggests that the leader should combine both confirmation and similar bias while they are making decisions (Valerio, 2019). Before making an agreement with employees, the leader needs to collect data and information about those employees who have the opposite opinion. Then use similar bias this perception to determine some related information with the agreement that needs to be made and combine them together as a result of a new agreement. After this process, the leader will be easier to launch out the agreement and more acceptable with employees. Situational bias more tends to be an external effect. Character bias is base on a personal characteristic. People usually have a bias on the negative behavior that was passing over by others. The best way of leader to use situation bias is by asking the simple question, such as “what situation might have prompted that person’s behavior”. Also, the leader’s thinking position needs to be a switch to understand their employees better. In conclusion, the leader uses differently biased to change people’s perception of leader and decision making.

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Valerio (2019) stated that people often use biases to make perception during some unknow situations and evaluate the risk of it. This refers to the definition of perceptual defense (Johns & Saks, 2019). The perceptual system protects people to avoid depressing emotions. Because of this system, people often “see what they want to see” and “hear what they want to hear” (Johns, 2019). It makes sure that people do not see or hear things that are threatening.

A group of people that have a similar point of view usually has the same mistrust of other ideas. This refers to one of the perceptual biases stereotypes. A stereotype is identifying a person’s characteristics feature, then categorize that same feature as a group (John, 2019). According to the infant experiment, In the textbook, there are three stereotype dimensions, including categorization, homogenization, and differentiation. Valerio (2019) found that infant is more preferable to a similar one, no matter the one is positive or negative behavior. This finding is indicated as homogenization, which is assuming group members are similar to one another. Yale’s infant cognition center set up an experiment, to testify what is an infant’s choice if there are two puppets and one of them picks the same cereal as the infant’s pick. During this experiment, three factors have an influence on perception. The perceiver is infant, targets are the two puppets, and the situation is picking cereal. Infant’s perceptions are different for the two puppets because they have two different situations.

From the results of the experiment, Valerio (2019) suggests leaders look for the similarities of his employees. If leaders show the similarities while he is sharing opinions, the employees will feel closer to the leader and willing to follow his lead. The more similarities the leader found, the closer the employees feel. This idea refers to how a person perceives the world. First, employees have cognitive closure to the leader, knows a little about the leader (Johns, 2019). After the leader shows similarities, the employees start filling in missing information about the leader. Finally, employees will organize the leader as the same group of people, and willing to listen to the leader’s talk and follow the leader’s guide. The more similarities they found, they feel more identified with the leader. This is the perception of trends.

Valerio (2019) also indicated that people have character bias when a person has negative behavior. This refers to reliance on central traits bias in person perception. People judge others base on a prominent characteristic then distort general perception (Johns, 2019).

Concluding Insights

This article is appealing from an organizational behavior perspective because the author has a detailed analysis of four biases that can help leaders to manage their employees better. The author also provides an example for a reader of how to implicate those biases into real-world situations.

I think this article is very useful for new leaders because it is easy to read and understand, the reader can easily implicate in the real world. The author listed out four biases concepts. The first concept is people like to group with each other if they find commons. Valerio (2019) suggest leader investigate employees’ similarities, then find the right time to provoke. It makes employees feel closer to each other because of their similarities. I think it is a great idea to connect all the employees together and improve the company’s collaboration.

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The second concept is suggesting leaders use confirmation bias to make decisions (Valerio, 2019). A good decision means that all the employees agree and willing to work with it. However, not all employees are agreeing with the decision at first. Therefore, the leader needs to collect data to prove that their disagreement is not acceptable. I think this is a good way to persuade employees to accept the decision because the decision is reasonable.

The third concept is leaders use character bias to build a healthy relationship with employees (Valerio, 2019). For character bias, people usually use the negative behavior of a person to identify him as an awful man. But we cannot indicate a person as negative because of some behaviors he performed. The leader can use this bias to ask employees what happened while they perform negative behavior. I think it is a good way because leaders will understand their employees better and help them get out of some rough situations. It helps employees to improve their working performance.

In conclusion, I believe the four biases are useful methods to help leaders manage their business better in terms of an employee relationship, decision making and good understanding with each other.


  • Johns, G., & Saks, A. M. (2019). Organizational behaviour: understanding and managing life at work (11th ed.). Toronto: Pearson
  • Pascotto, V. (2018, November 19). The Impact Of Perception And Bias On Leadership. Retrieved October 18, 2019, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescoachescouncil/2018/11/19/the-impact-of-perception-and-bias-on-leadership/#2d46618510fb.


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