Most people don’t see themselves as biased, as they aren’t intentionally trying to adhere to stereotypes or prejudices. However, unconscious bias can be incredibly impactful, influencing decisions, and opinions without a person’s explicit knowledge.
By being open to identifying and examining your biases, both conscious and unconscious, you can address them. It is possible to change, as long as you’re dedicated to improving. If you would like to know how you can identify and correct hidden biases, here are some tips that can help.
Take an Implicit Association Test
Implicit Association Tests (IATs) help identify hidden biases by tapping into reactions that happen without explicit conscious control. While IATs were originally developed as research tools, their use for personal growth quickly became relevant.
When you take the test and get your results, you’ll learn more about unconscious biases that influence your decisions and actions. Once you know that they are there, you can reflect on their origins and find opportunities for overcoming them.
One of the most important parts of this process is to recognize that many of these biases were unintentional. How a person thinks in this manner is often developed over a lifetime, and some of those messages were thrust upon you during your formative years. This isn’t about spurring shame. Instead, the purpose is to gather knowledge about how you view various situations. With that, you can create a plan for improvement, allowing you to move forward.
Committing Yourself to Change
Change is never easy, even when the intention behind it is good. Your unconscious biases are thought process patterns, and it will take time to break those molds.
However, by committing yourself to the process, you can stay motivated. Often, the simplest way to begin is to recognize how your hidden biases may be impacting a decision or influencing an action at the moment it is occurring. That alone may give you pause, encouraging you to stop and assess the thought processes or mindset in play.
If you find that you are acting from a place of unconscious bias, you can choose to take a new direction. When you do, you’re actively deciding that your previous decision or action was incorrect or inappropriate. Then, when you select a new course, you start reinforcing that approach. In time, that will shape your unconscious thought processes, allowing them to shift toward fairness and inclusion.
Ultimately, choosing to examine your hidden biases is a critical first step. Through acknowledgment, you can begin on the path toward improvement. Just stay dedicated to the process, and, in time, you can reshape how you think and react, allowing you to correct your hidden biases and keep them from influencing how you move through the world.
If you would like to learn more about the impact of unconscious bias and what you can do to eliminate its influence, the talented team at GSG Talent Solutions can help you on your journey. Contact us today to speak with a member of our knowledgeable staff and see how our diversity and inclusion expertise can benefit you.