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