Unconscious bias training is fundamental to diversity and inclusion management. The reason is simple. Until we know the source of our judgements and decision-making, we are not truly in touch with ourselves.
If we are not in touch with ourselves, it is extremely difficult to have an enriched, authentic or productive relationship with the people around us.
Since diversity and inclusion programmes, at their heart, deal with uniqueness, knowing the source of ourselves opens a window to the source of others.
Unconscious bias training opens windows to the previously unknown and allows fresh air to blow through—so to speak.
Diversity training companies specialise in making the links between unconscious bias, diversity, equity, empowerment and inclusion explicitly.
Each element of training has a very conscious focus on enriching the understanding of the human makeup, plus the impact that this has on the full spectrum of human dynamics and interactions.
We operate as integrated entities and as such, all training must speak to our growth and development as evolving individuals.
Learning to see
Whether we are participating in diversity training in Melbourne or diversity training in Brisbane, or anywhere else in the world for that matter, unconscious bias training has a consistent message: Until we are aware that we have numerous blind spots, we will never see clearly and may inadvertently cause harm.
We need to have detailed knowledge of the different kinds of biases that threaten our ability to discern others properly.
It is our responsibility to educate ourselves on general risks including affinity, confirmation, attribution and conformity bias. We will need to grasp the halo, horns and contrast effects.
We need to see that gender bias and ageism is not acceptable. We will be confronted with the offensiveness of name, beauty, height and anchor biases and be challenged by our own shortcomings related to non-verbal, authority and overconfidence biases.
In essence, we will need to become humble in the face of our many limitations. This awareness of our vulnerability becomes the crucible of our strength as we learn to shift and reshape ourselves actively.
Before unconscious bias training, we may not have thought twice about many of these biases and the power they have over us. Once we are intimate with these new concepts, we can identify them and can question our thinking and challenge our assumptions actively.
Achieving our Awakening
We should never be discouraged to discover that we still have much to do when it comes to diversity and inclusion management. Unconscious bias training will certainly highlight as many positive and exciting opportunities as it does vulnerabilities.
The learning awakens fresh, personal insight and encourages introspection. A lot more starts to make sense. We are likely to feel energised by our new wisdom and the practices we learn will help us overcome obstacles.
In addition, when we realise that we are not alone and bear no fault for our natural mental processing, we are able to readily accept ourselves and others with less judgement.
We have less of a need for us or anyone else to be perfect.
Unconscious bias training will teach us to take the time to think more. It will also teach us to trust in others and think less about their differences.
Our orientation in judgement will become less predictive and more inquisitive as we search actively for more compelling and real answers. Others will begin to be touched by our forethought into the consequences of our thoughts, feelings and behaviour.
Once we have been through the training, genuine accountability begins.
As Stephen Covey once said, “Accountability breeds response-ability”.