Moving Beyond Our Unconscious Biases

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Studies show that on average, Americans take in about 34 gigabytes of data each day.  Amazing right! That’s about 11.8 hours of information daily.

Now consider how much of that information received is biased to begin with.

Unconscious Biases, also known as implicit biases defined are social stereotypes about certain groups of people that individuals form outside their own conscious awareness.

Everyone holds unconscious beliefs about various social and identity groups, and these biases stem from one’s tendency to organize social worlds by categorizing.

Not to worry, to be biased is to be human because we all have them and we all have some that we could work on.  

The first step in moving beyond our unconscious biases is the willingness to acknowledge them. Yes, this is the hardest part – to truly self-reflect and look deep within and realize that we all have work to do. It is crucial for all employees – regardless of title, tenure or position within the organization – to address unconscious biases in the workplace due to the negative consequences they can and do cause.

According to Renee Navarro, it is important to note that biases, conscious or unconscious, are not limited to ethnicity and race. Though racial bias and discrimination are well documented, biases may exist toward any social group. One’s age, gender, gender identity physical abilities, religion, sexual orientation, weight, and many other characteristics are subject to bias. 

Below are three tips to help you move beyond your unconscious biases.

  1. Self-Reflection.  Self-reflection is key.  We can’t fix what we are willing to acknowledge.

  2. Frame Your Bias. No judgment zone here.  Acknowledge that you have biases and determine which you will tackle first.

  3. Start Your Journey.  Change won’t happen overnight.  Remember, anything learned can be unlearned.  You simply have to be willing to work towards becoming a better you.  

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