Overcoming the Implicit Bias – What Can Be Done in the School and Workplace Settings

Overcoming the Implicit Bias – What Can Be Done in the School and Workplace Settings

Implicit bias education and training are increasingly popular in professional and academic settings as more and more stories of negative racial and cultural interactions come to light in the media. But what is it and why is it important? Here’s what you need to know about implicit biases – and how to overcome them in your life.

What is an Implicit Bias?

The word “implicit” means something that happens beyond the control of an individual, or at least without actively thinking or preparing for an action. What does this mean in relation to a bias? If you see another person wearing a certain type of clothing or hairstyle or who comes from a specific ethnic background and your first reaction is fear or anger at their presence, this is an implicit bias. Even if your logical brain tells you there is nothing to fear, that initial and implicit bias is something that can create problems in thinking, behavior, and interaction in numerous settings – and make these settings dangerous and uncomfortable for minority groups.

What Can Be Done?

If implicit bias is an unconscious decision on the part of those reacting to the presence of others, how can it possibly be addressed? Thankfully, social scientists have long been working toward solutions for exactly this issue. Although deconstructing a bias is difficult, it isn’t impossible.

Implicit bias training has become a popular way to retrain the mind and relearn reactionary behaviors when it comes to the presence of others. These trainings may be present in schools, the workplace, or anywhere that groups of different people interact.

The best thing any person can do to work toward having less of a bias toward others is to catch themselves thinking or acting on negative thoughts about those people based on factors such as race, gender, sexual orientation, disability, and more. By recognizing one’s own biases, a person can become accountable for addressing and amending their behavior and improving working and living conditions for others.

To be a part of the solution, contact your local provider of implicit bias training today. You and your staff will learn more than just how to overcome implicit bias; you’ll learn how to be better people and make the world a safer, better place for others!