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A healthy organization is characterized by diversity, constructive debate, and a culture of inclusion.

However, the biggest obstacle on the road to building such an organization is behavior that comes from our own unconscious minds – bias. The only way to change and avoid these behaviors is to really understand where they’re coming from and why. 

If you want to create an organization with diversity, constructive debate, and a culture of inclusion, combating implicit bias in the workplace is essential. Insidious biases can slip into our decision-making processes without us even realizing it. The only way to change and avoid these behaviors is to really understand where they’re coming from and why. By recognizing and addressing these implicit biases head-on, organizations can foster a workplace culture that is more fair, inclusive, and ultimately more successful. 

Let’s talk about our unconscious mind   

Your mind is capable of so much more than you realize, and one aspect of it is the unconscious mind. This aspect is so powerful that it has the ability to shape and influence how we see and interpret the world around us. 

While it may not intentionally discriminate, it often makes snap judgments and categorizes people and things based on patterns it has built.  As humans, we have a natural tendency to identify patterns, which is crucial in our daily decision-making. However, it’s important to keep in mind that this ability can also result in biases that favor individuals who share similar traits with us. 

For example, if we are constantly exposed to portrayals of certain social groups as hardworking or ambitious, our unconscious mind may develop biases that influence our perception of those groups.  

As we aim to develop greater awareness of our biases, it becomes crucial to educate ourselves about the workings of our unconscious mind. By recognizing when our patterns might be leading us astray, we can navigate through life with more intention and purpose. 

The damage bias creates in the workplace

We all like to think that our decisions and actions are based solely on logic and objective reasoning.

Unfortunately, bias – whether intentional or subconscious – can negatively impact our organizations in a variety of ways. It inhibits collaboration and creativity, dampens performance, creates an unsafe environment, and can lead to micro behaviors that ultimately make people feel excluded.  

Research has shown that professionals in large companies who experience bias are more likely to withhold ideas, disengage, and quit. This is because they feel their contributions are not valued or appreciated, leading to a lack of motivation and engagement. A study conducted by the Harvard Business Review found that when employees experienced bias, they were more likely to leave their job within two years. The study also found that those who experienced bias were less likely to share their ideas or participate in team activities. 

In addition, relying on the bias for hiring, promoting, or creating leadership teams can stifle growth, limit diversity, and prevent your organization from reaching its full potential. By acknowledging and proactively addressing bias, organizations can create a more inclusive and prosperous future. 

Bias be gone: combating our unconscious mind  

It’s easy to underestimate the impact of bias on our everyday lives. Whether we are aware of it or not, bias can drastically shape our perceptions and beliefs, leading us to make decisions that may not align with our true values. This is especially true in professional settings, where our biases can heavily impact organizational culture, employee morale, and equity. 

To tackle this issue, it’s essential to examine our thoughts and emotions and root out unconscious biases through self-reflection. However, reducing bias also requires us to step back from snap decisions and consider them through multiple lenses. That means we must slow down our decision-making process and take various perspectives and arguments into account. 

Encouraging open expression is equally important because it helps build an inclusive and empowered atmosphere, one where every voice can be heard and recognized. Team-wide discussions can also provide valuable insights into how our biases impact our decision-making processes and reveal new avenues of thinking that employees may not have previously considered. 

Overall, investing in strategies that tackle bias head-on can yield fruitful results, such as more productive discussions, better brainstorming sessions, and ultimately, a more equitable and fair working environment. It is important to approach these discussions with an open mind and a willingness to learn. We can also seek out training and resources to help us better understand our biases and how to overcome them. 

Combating implicit bias is essential to creating a more diverse and inclusive workplace. By understanding what implicit bias is, identifying and measuring it, and implementing strategies to combat it, we can create a workplace culture that values and promotes diversity and inclusion. Committing to continual improvement and holding ourselves and others accountable can create a more equitable and successful workplace for everyone. 

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Country Navigator
Post by Country Navigator
Nov 16, 2023 12:51:42 PM