Overview

We can no longer start the conversation with “white privilege.” Diversity training based on white privilege raises awareness but often does not change behavior. The reality is that we all have bias, whether we are male or female, Christian, Muslim, or Agnostic, African American, Asian American, or Caucasian. It is the nature of the mind. When we talk about race or any other way in which we are different from each other, the mind is functioning in precisely the same subjective way it responds to everything else. When we see a person who is different from us, our mind instantly perceives the difference. There is no problem here; no shame, no blame. The problem is what happens next: we project our own mental models onto that perception of difference. That projection then forms the basis for our subjective and often prejudicial or stereotypical judgment of that person (good/bad, like/dislike, fear/trust), which then drives our behavior toward that person. What is so insidious is that we rarely question the mental models that form the basis for our subjective responses to the people we meet. But just as we can increase our objectivity regarding situations and events, we can also increase our objectivity regarding people.
Studies of unconscious bias reveal that by five years of age, many children have definite and entrenched stereotypes about blacks, women, and other social groups. Children don’t have a choice about accepting or rejecting these concepts, since they acquired them well before they developed the cognitive abilities or experiences to form and evaluate their own beliefs. These stereotypes become the basis for our automatic responses to people. They are literally hardwired in our neural net. Looking at the issue of race through the lens of objectivity, we cannot feel shame or blame for having the bias. They key is to accept the fact that we all have bias and choose to respond differently. By learning to be more objective it is possible to reduce implicit bias, change our automatic responses to people “not like us.” and thereby create more inclusive workplace environments and foster better relationships within our communities.
Managing Diversity

Learning Outcomes

  • Understand unconscious bias and how and why our brains are hardwired with subjective assumptions
  • Identify the group or groups against which they have bias through the Implicit Association Test
  • Accept the bias and articulate the reason for wanting to shift the bias
  • Identify triggers when encountering a person against which there is bias
  • Develop and practice more objective responses to our triggers in the moment
  • Learn cognitive restructuring and transformational learning techniques to transform bias at its core
  • Practicing new skills to increase objectivity and attitudes of inclusiveness

Format

This typically is a full day addition to the core program.  This module is a blend of lecture, self-assessment, group work and action planning.

 The Huffington Post Blogs

Objectivity Approach to Diversity Training

See Links to Huffington Post blogs about my objectivity approach to diversity training.
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