Unconscious Bias, sometimes referred to as Hidden Bias, is a groundbreaking subject, refined over recent years by a vast body of study – and is a rich subject matter for our style of innovative, experiential live learning.
Those who dismiss this topic as ‘diversity training by another name’ are much mistaken – indeed, much of the research on the subject confronts and then rejects much of our collective experiences of diversity training, and exposes how counterproductive the old-fashioned – yet well intentioned – attitudes to the topic can be.
The subject of Unconscious Bias needs to be introduced with the uncomfortable truth that we are all biased, despite what we may tell ourselves – and regardless of how unsettled and defensive that statement makes us feel.
The truth is that we all carry prejudices in some form or another. We may not be overtly racist, but we may have an unconscious preference for taller people for example. To address this fact honestly, and to explore and then challenge our own ‘hidden’ biases with an open mind is hugely enlightening, and is often a catalyst for a collective paradigm shift in all participants.
At its best, interactive training on the subject of Unconscious Bias leaves participants wiser, and ultimately more understanding and tolerant – now that’s exciting to be part of!
If you haven’t already, we’d recommend taking the IAT – the Implicit Association Test – which is widely regarded as the most effective tool for testing one’s own Unconscious Bias. You can take the test free through online resources from Harvard University.
There are also many brilliant books which feature the subject: Malcolm Gladwell’s ‘Blink’ distills much of the research and is a cracking read. If you haven’t made time for it yet, we urge you to.
Here’s to a more tolerant world!