Implicit Bias: What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You

Implicit Bias: What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You
Duration: 60 Minutes
Module 1 Resources
Recorded on: 2018-10-17
Unit 1 Slide Deck: Implicit Bias
Unit 2 Recording: Implicit Bias
Unit 3 Workbook: Implicit Bias What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You

The human mind is a truly incredible thing. How it processes information outside of our consciousness is amazing. Implicit bias is one of those brain functions that run in the background as a result of societal programming – and it is what today's resource speaker, Dr. Kimberly Miller will be discussing.

Dr. Miller is a renowned consultant, trainer, and speaker. For over 14 years, her strength and relationship-based approach enables individuals to enhance their skills and productivity. She conducts workshops, one-on-one coaching, and organizational interventions to reach organizations' and employees' full potential – improving skills, efficiency, supervision, management, and leadership.

Some of the points Dr. Miller talked about in this course involves:

  • Defining the characteristics of bias and its two variants – explicit and implicit.
  • How humans learn bias based on:

    • How our brains are intrinsically wired to categorize things for efficiency.
    • Environmental conditioning and societal programming that creates preferences and habits.
    • Defaulting to trust our experiences when faced with various circumstances.
  • A primer on how our brain works and how the amygdala is responsible for system 1 processing that is fast and automatic despite being prone to inaccurate judgment.
  • The importance of utilizing system 2 processing that considers things like morals, character, and the bigger picture.
  • How our brain categorizes people based on warmth and competence and how it impacts our behavior towards them.
  • The different types of biases that people are prone to committing as:

    • Stereotyping where a snap judgment is made based on easily perceivable attributes.
    • Anchoring bias where relying heavily on one aspect or piece of information causes neglect of other factors and characteristics.
    • Groupthink where a group defaults to one option that has the majority's buy-in or was done before instead of considering all existing alternatives.
    • Stereotype threat where a person internalizes the stereotype assigned to themselves or their group that the stereotype becomes true.
  • The relationship between bias and power such that the power dynamics can create privileges, inequalities, and advantages.
  • How power impacts our empathy and ethics and the significance of constantly practicing empathy.
  • Tips on how to reduce bias on the individual level by:

    • Practicing awareness, conscious choices, and self-reflection
    • Finding ways to counter our own beliefs through feedback and exposure to different points of view
    • Focusing on a higher cause
    • Self-care to manage our own energy
    • Constant practice
  • Organization-level interventions to obstruct the proliferation of implicit bias through:

    • Awareness when status quo bias or groupthink is observed
    • Examining possible biases in the processes and implementing criteria that standardize and make decisions objective
    • Inclusiveness, cross-training, and exposure between teams
    • Organizational surveys to expose hidden issues and devising an action plan based on findings
    • Assessing group dynamics and organizational culture for bias and self-interest
    • Employing quality assurance checks
  • The audience raised their concerns related to:

    • Having that conversation about biases in the workplace
Additional Resources
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