Book Review: Why Don’t They Get It? Overcoming Bias in Others (and Yourself)

Posted by Kristin Arnold on January 26, 2021

My neighbor, Linda, recommended the book Why Don’t They Get It? Overcoming Bias in Others (and Yourself) by Brian McLaren as this month’s book club selection.  It’s not in Amazon or any other bookstore – you have to buy it on his website – which, frankly, is a bit unusual for a book club.

So how did it land on our list?  During these times of civil and political unrest, Linda was listening to Brian’s podcast, and was so intrigued, she ordered the book and referred it to us.  Glad she did as Brian clearly lays out 12 biases that affect our ability to understand and communicate with each other.  His basic premise is that:

“People can’t see what they can’t see…unless someone helps them to see it.”

This very short book allows you to name, see, and overcome some pretty common biases in our world.

As a facilitator of high-stakes conversations and a never-ending student of cognitive biases, I was particularly impressed with his clarity in describing the 12 biases.  (Okay, there is one that I don’t completely agree with, but it generated great conversation at our book club!)

In Part 2, he talks about how to overcome your biases by using Jesus as an example and how he helped people to overcome their biases.  (I have to laugh because his selection of Jesus clearly shows his own bias as a pastor – and some of the examples seem a little forced, but hey, it gets the point across.)

Part III is worth every cent of the book (a mere $5.99).  It includes a checklist of strategies, five ways to help others see what they can’t see, and bias-engaging scripts.  Priceless.

Another neighbor, Pelly, exclaimed, “EVERYONE needs to read this book!”  I agree.

For more information about how to lead your team in the virtual environment, use these resources.

KRISTIN ARNOLD, MBA, CPF | Master, CSP is a high-stakes meeting facilitator and professional panel moderator.  She’s been facilitating teams of executives and managers in making better decisions and achieving greater results for over 27 years.  She is the author of the award-winning book, Boring to Bravo: Proven Presentation Techniques to Engage, Involve and Inspire Audiences to Action.  Her latest book, 123 Ways to Add Pizazz to a Panel Discussion was published in January 2021.

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Photo by Jackie Hope on Unsplash

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