5 Ways to Defeat Unconscious Bias in the Workplace
Unconscious bias could be causing you to lose key employees to competitors, it could be keeping otherwise fantastic employees from reaching their true potential in your company, and it could be keeping top talent from desiring to work for your company in the first place.

An unconscious bias occurs when we unknowingly make automatic assumptions or judgments towards people. But over time, UB could stunt the growth of your company and negatively impact your bottom line.

Specific examples of unconscious bias that can occur during the hiring process include issues concerning ethnicity, language barriers, religion, and whether someone is a single parent. There are many different methods you can utilize in order to combat unconscious bias, including the following:
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1. Analyze Your Initial Thoughts

The first thing that comes to your mind when you think of a specific group of people can often help reveal whether or not you have an unconscious bias. For example, it may be helpful to think of different groups of people that often have negative stereotypes. When you imagine this group, you should analyze the thoughts that initially cross your mind. If you discover that you have negative thoughts associated with the group, then you need to analyze your thought process and make adjustments. 

2. Utilize Logic

Logic can be a very helpful tool in recognizing and defeating unconscious bias. If you determine that you are exhibiting behaviors associated with unconscious bias, it may be beneficial to use people from your personal life as examples. For instance, if you know someone on a personal level that has some of the characteristics you have a bias towards, you can analyze their personality and behavior to see if it correlates with your assumptions. Often, you will find that your preconceived notions do not apply to people once you actually know them. This is a helpful method to reduce unconscious bias and to uncover some of the errors associated with stereotypes. 

3. Pause To Think

Often, unconscious bias occurs when people are not taking the time to think logically. It may sometimes be necessary to take a moment to analyze your thought process before making any snap judgments or decisions. Taking a moment to really assess individuals and situations can make a noticeable difference in your behavior and decision making skills. 

4. Imagine the Bias Doesn't Exist

Eliminating the bias can be a difficult process. If you imagine that it doesn't exist it isn't as powerful and you can establish methods to eliminate it from your thought process. You should take the time to listen to people and learn to understand them. Being empathetic towards others will allow you to see them as individuals. Often, unconscious bias can inhibit your ability to be an effective team leader. Taking proactive steps to eliminate negative behaviors and your unconscious bias can allow you to reach your full potential within a leadership role.

5. Establish Common Ground

Having empathy for others and establishing a common ground can help to eliminate unconscious bias. Everyone is unique and has a different perspective. However, you can always find things you have in common. Once you realize that you can establish similarities between you and other people, no matter your differences, you will realize that your unconscious bias is not an effective way to view the world or connect with others.

Ready to rid your workplace of unconscious bias? SunShower Learning's Unconscious Bias Training Program takes these five steps and incorporates them into a comprehensive training program. Fill out the form to view a FREE preview of the training video, and learn more about the training program.
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