What is it?
- Every day our brains process enormous amounts of information: everything we see, hear, taste, touch, smell, think, etc.
- In order to make sense of it all our brains make shortcuts.
- Often, these shortcuts take the form of Stereotypes: Assumptions based upon perceived characteristics, traits, & behaviors of groups of people.
- Stereotypes get shaped by our experiences, through the media, and the broader culture we live in.
- Stereotypes affect how we interact with people and the resulting behavior is an Unconscious Bias.
- Unconscious Biases can be either positive or negative.
- Negative biases are triggered more easily when we are: under pressure, short on time, or not paying attention.
5 ways to mitigate biases:
- Recognize & Accept: that everyone has biases that are both positive and negative.
- Shine a Light on Yourself: identify biases that you may have.
- Practice Constructive Uncertainty: Even when you are 100% sure, be open to the possibility that your perception may not be accurate.
- Explore Awkwardness & Discomfort: The unknown can be uncomfortable and leave you feeling awkward. These are natural feelings and we all need to learn how to manage our feelings appropriately.
- Learn About People: Educate yourself and explore other cultures. It is not the other person’s responsibility to educate you.