Every human being makes immediate, snap decisions
about new people. It is purely instinctual and happens faster than we can
comprehend, as quickly as 30 milliseconds. This process is called Unconscious Bias
and can have a huge influence on how we respond to new people or groups of
Part of the bodies defence mechanism is to make
these immediate decisions about people, to try and understand if it is safe. It
is also a way to speed up new interactions; we cannot possibly process
everything we initially take in about a new person. The brain will
subconsciously categorise based on gender, age, race, weight, attractiveness,
and disability. Along with this, our past experiences will also play a part, so
that the brain also looks for familiar patterns of language, accent,
nationality, religion, and education. Social Psychologists call this part of
the process Social Categorisation.
We all form categories which pre-judge others, and
other groups, based on past experiences with a similar group. This pre-judging
will also be based on what we have seen, heard, and absorbed unconsciously
during the course of our lives. Influences can come from family and friends but
may also be affected by the news, social media and peers; creating patterns
which we unconsciously process and store. These categories get reinforced by
our daily lives, without us thinking consciously about them.
These unconscious decisions we make about someone’s
character will then help create a bias, whether good or bad, towards them.
Unconscious bias cannot be stopped, but we can learn how to use logical thought
to ensure that we don’t let it impact negatively in the workplace.
The key content of this 90 minute EDI and Unconscious Bias training session:
By the end of this 90 minute EDI and unconscious bias training session your learners will be able to: