How To Talk About Unconscious Bias With Your Team

Unconscious bias is a foundational concept in DEI (diversity, equity, inclusion) training. It’s the root of how we view and interact with the world. And it’s one of the hardest topics to understand.

After all, how can we address what we don’t realize? Yet, talking about unconscious bias with your team is critical to successful DEI training. It’s part of CT3’s three-step process for change:

  1. Acknowledge behaviors and thought processes
  2. Deconstruct why we act or think this way
  3. Transform negative thoughts and actions into positive ones

So let’s dive into the concept of unconscious bias, why it’s worth discussing and how you can broach the topic with your team successfully.

Exploring Unconscious Bias

Per the Unconscious Bias Project, unconscious bias is defined as “prejudice in favor of or against one thing, person, or group compared with another, usually in a way considered to be unfair.”

We all have biases – chocolate ice cream is better than vanilla, spring is better than winter – but biases become dangerous when we “other” the perceived opposing side. Even more dangerous? When we don’t realize we’re doing it. That’s unconscious bias.

Types Of Unconscious Bias

It takes real effort to transform these biases, but acknowledgement is the first step. Here are commonly held unconscious biases. How many do you recognize?

Unconscious Bias Training In The Workplace

Unconscious bias training in the workplace can be awkward to approach. After all, you’ll have to discuss taboo topics like:

But studies show that these issues are responsible for XX% of employee dissatisfaction or turnover, so someone’s got to start the conversation. It’s important to be positive in these conversations. Help your team view this training as a collaboration, not an accusation. Now’s not the time to point fingers.

That being said, unconscious bias training often empowers people to share their experiences so embrace these moments. And consider scheduling additional 1-on-1s so employees can offer private feedback and further discussion.

Unconscious Bias Training For Leaders

The executive team is not excused from unconscious bias training. In fact, they may be the most important department to meet with. Successful DEI strategies have top-down support. That means leadership promotes and demonstrates what they’ve learned. Without their active support, training tends to fail.

Get the facts… Yes, Even Executives Need DEI Training Too

Unconscious Bias Training Effectiveness

The effectiveness of unconscious bias training cannot be underestimated. With the right tools, companies who invest in unconscious bias training see:

Source: McKinsey

5 Benefits Of Unconscious Bias Training

  1. Reduced Workplace Discrimination: By identifying and addressing unconscious biases, the likelihood of discrimination in employee interactions falls.
  2. Improved Decision-Making: Remember, teams saw a 60% improvement in decision-making on average when biases were taken into account. Instead, decisions are objective and merit-based.
  3. Enhanced Recruitment: Unconscious bias training ensures that hiring decisions are based on skills and qualifications, not subjective preferences.
  4. Increased Innovation: With more perspectives comes more ideas. Diverse teams lead to innovative solutions and creative problem-solving.
  5. Longer Retention: Unconscious bias training contributes to a more inclusive workplace, improving job satisfaction and increasing the likelihood that employees stay.

Unconscious Bias Training Exercises

To introduce your team to the concept, there are many unconscious bias training activities out there. Every team is different, so it’s important to conduct a Needs Assessment first. This will help you identify your team’s baseline familiarity with DEI and where to focus efforts. These 25 questions are a great starting point.

Once you’ve established goals, choosing the right unconscious bias training exercises is easy. Here are a few examples:

Unconscious Bias - Online Training

Online unconscious bias training is an excellent tool for teams that work in-office, hybrid and remote. They offer a flexible way for employees to learn at their own pace. Plus, online training scales with your company so new hires can start immediately.

Unconscious Bias Training Providers

CT3 is a revolutionary DEI training program that emphasizes the importance of unconscious bias. Using immersive technology, including holograms and games, CT3 helps teams focus on active learning, not passive attendance. Here’s what teams can expect:

Let's Tour CT3 - A DEI Training Course

Start Your DEI Journey Today

Everyone is accountable for diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Luckily, there are training programs to support your journey. CT3 makes positive workplace behavior possible. With engaging and accessible modules, teams who use CT3 focus on active learning, not passive attendance. CT3 is transformation through training. Take the first step for your team today.

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