We are ALL biased in the way we think and act towards others – even when we don’t notice it. Unconscious bias happens when we treat someone (or a group of people) differently based upon certain hidden stereotypes we might have about them or someone similar to them e.g. culture, age, genders.
When we reflect upon our own biases, we can start to change our own behavior and make sure that we treat our fellow teammates fairly.
How to overcome our unconscious bias:
- Think about how you treat your fellow teammates and identify in which instances you might display bias towards certain teammates.
- Ask your teammates to let you know when you are behaving unfair or biased towards them.
- Take the time to learn about different cultures, races, religions and backgrounds represented by your teammates.
- Ask your co-workers to share some of the customs and practices associated with their cultures.
- Celebrate special days together and congratulate your colleagues.
3. Be respectful
- Treat people in a way they wish to be treated rather than the way you wish to be treated.
- Common social activities and practices that are comfortable for you may not be comfortable for everyone.
- Do not tell offensive jokes that may alienate those who are different from you — even if they are not present at the time.
4. Provide feedback
- Participate in employee engagement surveys and respond as openly and honestly as possible.
- Share with your colleagues/supervisor when you feel that they have treated you unfairly.
- Be willing to accept feedback and listen to the concerns of those around you as well.
5. Welcome ideas
- Ask for opinions that are different from your own.
- Support fellow teammates when sharing their ideas.
6. Speak up
- Report discrimination and unfair treatment (whistleblower information).