Strategies to Manage Your Own Unconscious Bias When You’re Making Decisions

Can unconscious bias influence your decisions? Uh, yeah. And it’s something you are choice whether to take action on.

Good article in Forbes from their Expert Panel listing some strategies for managers to be conscious during their decision-making. Some of the strategies are similar to what we discuss in our Unconscious Bias Workshops via Zoom. The starting point must always be that we all have unconscious biases. The question is, what do you want to do about your biases? Do you want to take the time and energy to explore where your blind spots are? Where you are impacting people and processes?

In our Unconscious Bias Workshops via Zoom, we not only talk about the brain science, why we all have unconscious bias and where it comes from, we also help everyone understand the impact it has on others, the workplace, job performance, and on ourselves. Then, we teach skills that anyone can learn and practice to uncover and disrupt biases with concrete actions. Read about our Workshops via Zoom.

Here’s the list from the article and my commentary with what we cover in our Workshops on Zoom: 

1. Be Aware Of Your Own Bias
Easier said than done. We offer specific ways to become aware of areas your biases may show up.

2. Take A Step Out Of Your Perspective
Trying on another perspective. Empathy. Being open to other points of views. Excellent. Takes practice! 

3. Set Objective Standards
As much as possible, and – recognizing that your objective standards may not actually be objective! They themselves may be influenced by your unconscious biases.

4. Write Down Decision-Influencing Factors
This is an excellent suggestion. Get it on paper and then read it through to reflect.

5. Focus On Educating And Building Awareness
Echo of #2.

6. Find A Counterpart With A Different Background
The “Like Me” bias is powerful and needs to be tracked.

7. Ask Colleagues Who Think Differently
Echo of #2

8. Be Proactive About Team Diversity
Excellent suggestion – and important to be self-aware that your own proactivity may be influenced by unconscious biases! It doesn’t end.

9. Make Yourself ‘Blind’
This is a good idea and, again, it’s important to acknowledge that even if you review things that are anonymous, your brain will be scanning for something familiar / alien and categorizing accordingly. We talk about this in our Unconscious Bias Workshops via Zoom!

SunShower’s Unconscious Bias Workshops via Zoom are interactive, engaging and sure to start new conversations. Not only do we teach the science about how the brain works and raise awareness about the impact of implicit bias, we also get your people thinking through the use of realistic video scenarios. Breakout rooms for small discussion and then back to the general session. Online workshop sessions range from 60 minutes to 3 hours or we can schedule on multiple days. Led by Joel Lesko and Marsha Ross-Jackson, the Workshops can help you start, or keep your Diversity Equity & Inclusion conversation alive.

More From Our Blog…

Toxic behavior that affects morale and retention

Toxic behavior that affects morale and retention

I came across an article in Fast Company (LINK) by Melinda Briana Epler, the author of How to Be an Ally: Actions You Can Take for a Stronger, Happier, Workplace. Melinda makes many excellent points about microaggressions and non-verbal bullying. She writes about the...

read more
Wait, was that a microaggression?

Wait, was that a microaggression?

I just discovered a new online encyclopedia of microaggressions. It lists specific examples of microaggressions and debriefs why they are harmful. Check out Micropedia here. I found it to be very interesting and useful. Micropedia lists microaggressions pertaining to...

read more
Joel interviewed on the Learning UNLOCKED podcast

Joel interviewed on the Learning UNLOCKED podcast

As a director, I’m most comfortable behind the camera. I enjoy interviewing people, asking questions and drawing out their stories. So, it was with a good deal of anxiety that I accepted the invitation to be interviewed on the Learning Unlocked podcast, sponsored by...

read more
25 Stories About Racial Microaggressions At School

25 Stories About Racial Microaggressions At School

BuzzFeed asked its readers to share stories of racial microaggressions when they were in school. The response is published in the article, People Of Color Are Sharing Their Experiences With Racial Microaggressions In School, And Honestly, None Of These Stories Should...

read more
Training is a Terrible Word

Training is a Terrible Word

The other day I was speaking with a client about the training courses that SunShower offers. I heard myself say, “but training is just a terrible word, isn’t it?” She laughed and agreed. We joked that training is for dogs and maybe some cats. It was funny, and, as I...

read more
Colin in Black and White

Colin in Black and White

If you’re like me, you’re always on the lookout for the next great show. Well, look no further than Colin in Black and White, the Netflix limited series. Ava DuVernay has woven together the inspiring and emotional story of how young Colin Kaepernick not only became a...

read more
Book Review – Americanah

Book Review – Americanah

In our work with organizations and especially in our Workshops Via Zoom, we always suggest strategies, skills and concrete actions that people can use to counter any automatic judgments or biases that come up. Because of how our brains categorize people and...

read more
Ava DuVernay on Microaggressions

Ava DuVernay on Microaggressions

Netflix is out with a new show on Colin Kaepernick’s early life, produced and directed by award-winning filmmaker Ava DuVernay. She explains what motivated her to do a story about a famous person, which is, in her own words, “not my thing”. She discusses how she got...

read more
Shrill

Shrill

You don’t have to be a keen observer of culture to notice that certain words and descriptions have become code-words to criticize and marginalize women and dismiss their ideas. To monitor how your own unconscious biases may be at play in your communications, you’ll...

read more
“I congratulate you and your people”

“I congratulate you and your people”

In a Congressional hearing to confirm President Biden’s nominee to the 9th US Circuit of Appeals, US Senator Grassley welcomed the Honorable Lucy H. Koh by saying, “If I’ve learned anything from Korean people, it’s a hard work ethic. And how you can make a lot out of...

read more