What is Unconscious Bias?
We know that the unconscious mind is a powerful and intrinsic force in shaping our overall behavior in our everyday lives. Similarly, organizations and thought leaders are beginning to appreciate and harness this deeper understanding of how our cultures shape the automatic decisions we make every moment and the profound impact that such decisions have on our personal and professional lives.
So How Does This Affect Me?
Every human being gets triggered- either positively or negatively- when exposed to different kinds of people. The concept of Unconscious Bias impacts individuals and organizations at virtually every level of organizational life including hiring, performance management, succession planning, and strategic decision making. Recent studies within cognitive science point us to the conclusion that most biased decisions are not made by bad people with bad attitudes, but rather by well-intentioned people who are unaware of the internal unconscious processes that may be affecting their decision-making every day.
What Can I Do?
Cook Ross combines fundamental psychological approaches like stereotype threat, unintentional blindness, and selective attention with classical diversity approaches which emphasize a focus on micro-advantages and micro-inequities. Our fundamental belief at Cook Ross is that while egregious displays of discriminatory behavior must be clearly addressed, the much larger organizational problem is that vast numbers of unconscious decisions are made by people who do not realize there is Unconscious Bias in their behavior.
The core objectives in our work on Unconscious Bias are for clients and participants to:
Examine their own background and identities to interact more authentically with co-workers, customers, and the community.
Explore how the brain functions to recognize Unconscious Bias as a natural function of the human mind.
Expose patterns of Unconscious Bias to navigate its impact on decision-making processes.
Confront internal biases to practice conscious awareness in their lives.
Identify organizational leverage points to mitigate the impact of Unconscious Bias in interactions, processes, and structures.
Practice strategies and tools to create transformational systemic change in their organization.