The ultimate test of principle-centered leadership is to be loyal to people who are absent when their names come up in conversations and meetings. When other people are not with you, they're in the dark they don't know what's happening, what you're saying about them, and whether you are loyal to them. And that's when you show your true character.
If you allow people around you to stereotype, castigate, and label others, you basically tell them that you would make snide remarks about them behind their backs. You tell them that you're not centered on principles; you're seeking gain, pleasure, or popularity at someone else's expense. If you talk loosely about a customer, you will likely talk loosely about employees.
When you defend the integrity of a person who is absent, what does that say to those who are present? It says that you would do the same thing for them. Sure, it takes courage to speak up at the time. It's much easier to just say nothing. If we have a chance to defend others or to speak up for our cherished beliefs and values, we need to do it.
Unconscious biases are hard to identify, much less know their true impact. Before you can take steps to operate more fairly and effectively at work, you need to get your bearings. Download our latest guide: Seven Misconceptions About Unconscious Bias.