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Implicit bias, or unconscious bias, can hurt the workplace in more ways than one. These unconscious beliefs about groups of people can make others feel uncomfortable, misunderstood, and unheard. For businesses, being aware of implicit bias and educating their employees can help in the fight against discrimination and negative stereotypes of others. Here are a few ways to fight against implicit bias.
View People as Individuals
Viewing people through the lens of stereotypes is unfair and can be detrimental to their image. To build healthy relationships between people different from yourself, you must focus on their individual characteristics. Try to look at life through the lens of someone else. Try to understand their experiences. Respect their culture and their way of life.
Check Yourself at the Door
One of the toughest challenges in changing your perspective is recognizing your own stereotypes of others. Recognizing that your response to others may be rooted in biases is the first step to becoming a better person and co-worker. Reflect on your thoughts and reactions. Identify your prejudices by self-reflecting on your beliefs and how those thoughts could negatively reflect others.
Broaden Your Horizon
Spending time with others who share a different lifestyle and culture from your own can help shift your perspective. Before engaging with others, take time to pause and reflect on your beliefs. Recognize what you say and how it may come across to others. Use statements that embrace others’ differences and cultures. For example, using phrases like “I don’t see color” is offensive to people of color who take pride in their skin and culture.
Become A Better Leader
When you are a leader in your workplace, you lead others by example. By understanding your own biases and how they can affect others in the workplace, you can begin to stop or confront behavior from your employees towards others. In fact, a great way to go about confront biases within your place is by having an unconscious bias workshop for your team.
With effort and understanding, you and your employees can become leaders that are empathetic and understand the importance of confronting biases.
Remember that resisting implicit bias is something that won’t just happen overnight. It is a lifelong process, and there will be times where you fall short. However, learning to resist implicit biases against others will make you a better person overall.
Do you have any more tips on stopping implicit bias in the workplace? Let us know down in the comments.
This article was originally published in GREY Journal.