It’s a necessary ability to have in the workplace. The ability to differentiate.
You’re constantly making decisions in which you show a preference for one idea or process over another.
Your brain was trained to distinguish between differences from birth.
The problem is that the way your brain inputs information can lead to an unconscious bias.
This bias – though it’s unintentional – can affect the people around you, your productivity and can even damage the health of your organization.
As a leader in your company, the battle begins with you.
Take a look at the different types of bias that can affect you and your team:
It’s important to remember the unconscious nature of these types of bias.
Having these tendencies doesn’t make you a terrible person or unfit to lead.
You still need to work toward a growing awareness and take the necessary steps to change.
Here’s what you need to consider as you take an active role in overcoming unconscious bias.
People should share their views of your organization’s inclusion and diversity strategies.
Ask them to express how they would like to see each concept enacted.
Then, everyone should evaluate how successful they think they are at putting the ideas into action.
Here are some sample questions to guide your thinking:
This process is an effective means of uncovering unconscious biases that you and your team may have.
It’s important to have a concrete plan of action for reaching your inclusivity and diversity goals.
Find activities that will deepen your sensitivities – and those of your team – to people and ideas outside your comfort zone.
Try regularly engaging in some, or all, of these exercises:
At this point, you and your team have probably made some discoveries about where you’ve been holding unconscious bias and you’ve started to move toward making changes.
Accountability is key.
You can even go so far as to match each person in your organization up with an “accountability partner” with whom they can periodically check in.
It’s worth the effort to bring unconscious bias into the light of day and to take aggressive action to weed it out of your organization.
It’s not good for your bottom line or for your office culture.
On a grander and even more important scale, executives and business leaders like you have the power to spur real change in society by advocating empathy and openness.
Are you willing to do the work to uncover your unconscious bias and work toward making a change?
Takeaway: Get feedback from your team about how they perceive the inclusivity of your organization.