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According to scientific research, the first things we notice about someone are their race and gender. Because right or wrong, we are assessing how different or similar they are to us. The similarity comforts us. The differences can threaten us.

To deal with this fear of others who are different, we create and live in bubbles. Recently, we witnessed the societal consequences of isolating in our bubbles with the murder of George Floyd and others and the subsequent protests, and we must recognize that we need to reach out and find common ground with people who are different than we are and not feel threatened.

Professionally, we must be aware that our bubbles will sabotage our leadership as we isolate ourselves from diversity of thought. This protective cocoon and all the assumptions we make to strengthen it, do more harm than good. Our personal bubble prevents us from being successful leaders.

Read the full article on Forbes.com.