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Conflict Resolution Training: Attribution Bias

Use this template to teach employees about resolving issues with coworkers. It offers strategies for managing emotions at work and shifting to a positive mindset. This template specifically focuses on the issue of attribution biases, but you can replace the text, images, and narration to address another topic.

Video Transcript: Attribution Bias Training

Imagine you have an urgent task to complete and you need to do it with your partner Betty. But the problem is she's late, really late. Your brain is quick to connect the dots. She doesn't care. She really lacks discipline.

Well, your brain just took a common shortcut called the fundamental attribution error. When witnessing another person's behavior leading to a negative outcome, we tend to attribute that behavior to their intrinsic nature while underestimating situational factors.

Because of the fundamental attribution error, you now have a negative perception of Betty and it further affects your judgment of Betty's actions. Every mistake she makes now amplifies that negative perception. Because of that, you decide to handle your next project all by yourself and end up working very late to complete it. The next morning your alarm clock doesn't ring for some reason, plus there were some delays commuting. The result is you're late to work.

Apologizing to your boss, you feel guilty, but there was nothing you could have done. It's just one of those days where everything goes wrong. You've just followed another brain shortcut called the self-serving bias. When we analyze our own behavior leading to a negative outcome, we attribute it to situational factors instead of our own intrinsic nature in order to see ourselves more positively.

Let's wrap up. The fundamental attribution error is when we attribute someone else's behavior to their intrinsic nature because we lack information about situational factors.

On the other hand, we tend to attribute our own behavior to external factors in order to protect our self-esteem. The important takeaway is that they are both subjective attributions. Looking at both intrinsic and external factors is key to learning and growing.

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