Making Diversity Work :7 Steps for Defeating Bias in the Workplace

  • By The Alchemist About Town
  • 09 Aug, 2016

Bits and bobs

Pic from www.pinterest.com

The modern workplace hosts a collection of employees from different backgrounds, races, nations, religions and sexual orientations. For a company to function, all these people have to work together.

Organisational leaders must minimise the tensions between individuals and groups to keep operations running smoothly. Left uncorrected, bias can ruin an organisation. Sondra Thiederman, an expert on diversity issues in the workplace, has prepared a manual for managers and employees who want to recognise and correct biased behaviour. This book contains personal examples and easy step-by-step individual and group exercises for reducing bias.

Take-Aways from the book

  • Bias is a rigid positive or negative belief about a group of people.

  • Bias is an attitude, not a behaviour, but behaviour shapes attitude.

  • Thus, people can fix a biased outlook by acting unbiased, even insincerely.

  • To overcome your biases, use the seven-step “visual renewal process.” Start by becoming aware of your biases, gauging their depth and weighing their secondary benefits.

  • Then examine your prejudices, redefine your sense of kinship, control your biased thoughts and act as if you have no prejudices.

  • People with strong ethnic identities are more open to other cultures.

  • When people see that those whom they view as different actually share their interests and concerns, their intolerance fades.

  • Positive biases that lead to overly favourable treatment can also be destructive.

  • “Gateway Events” – workplace occurrences that provoke sensitive, discrimination-related issues – can present learning opportunities if you follow up with open discussions.

  • Fostering prejudice spreads bias; confronting prejudice reduces bias; publicly opposing prejudice can change other people’s biases

  • Leaders generally agree that workplace diversity benefits business, but good feelings on every side are not an automatic achievement. Sometimes diversity needs organisational encouragement.

  • Bias is defined as a rigid positive or negative belief about a group of people. Such prejudice is an attitude, not a behaviour. Individuals can correct discriminatory thinking, even if it is persistent, when they become aware of its presence and seek to minimise its influence on their lives.

  • Bias is a conditioned response, so people can change it by raising their awareness, exploring alternative ways of thinking and practising new behaviours. The “visual renewal process” raises their consciousness of their own biased assumptions so they can replace them with more rational, less emotional conclusions. This process has seven stages:

    - Become aware of your prejudices

    - Gauge the weight of your prejudices

    - Know when your biases have “secondary gains

    - Examine your biases

    - Redefine groups

    - Control your biases

    - Act as if you are not biased

Dialogue can be the best antidote to discrimination. The key to leading a significant discussion is to set up a conversation that fulfils a stated purpose but that is not charged with emotion. Discussions to deal with discrimination must have a goal. Lead all the participants to understand and agree that they face a common enemy – bias – which this discussion can help them control.


The People Alchemist Blog

By The Alchemist About Town 22 Sep, 2017
I am so utterly delighted that my book is now out, available to order both on paperback and on Kindle edition just in time for Business Women's Day - YES!!!!!! :-) 

STOP IT! It's all in your head   is my labour of love and my way to encourage, inspire and empower women to achieve what they want professionally and not be confined by societal, religious, family paradigms of what " women should do/are like" and, most importantly, the restrictions in their head.
If that is being CEO of a Global Company or a stay-at-mum or Director of Paperclip ( whatever grabs your fancy) so be it.

Writing this book was also a personal challenge ( the 30 days thingy) which confirmed to me once and for all that you can really do whatever you set your mind to, if you really want to that is.

Couple of tips for writing a book from me:
  • write about what you are passionate about, you know more than you think.
  • free-write about the parts/chapters in the book you like the most and you are most interested in first - that will give you a great boost at the beginning - you can edit and add the boring bits later - by then most of the book will be almost there
  • keep your own voice - write as you speak so to speak ( people do need to understand you though..)
  • keep an open mind, ideas will flow into you mid-way through the project
  • a deadline and going public is good to beat procrastination ( but if that stresses you out too much don't do it) - the deadline certainly helped me.
You can do it too!!!

If anyone would like to be part of the book launch, the event is live on Eventbrite and you can buy an Early Bird ticket now:
SMASH YOUR CEILING - #STOPITBookLaunch 
Thursday 12 October at 18.30
Business Design Centre
Islington
London

To pre- e-meet other super fab women in business attending the event, please use the following hashtags:
#SMASHYOURCEILING
#STOPITBookLaunch
#BDCWorks

I'm so excited about this book and I genuinely hope you will like it- I hope to meet you soon, in person or through the pages of my book.

Laura x


#Hustle #GirlBoss #SmashThatCeiling
  #SmashYourCeiling
STOP IT! It's all in your head 
#dreambig #believe #youcan



By The Alchemist About Town 19 Sep, 2017
The time is getting closer and closer to the release of   STOP IT, It's all in your head   my new book ( 22 September for Business Women's Day - US) .

I have now  received the proof copy of the paperback which looks absolutely fabulous: a couple of things to correct but overall I am super happy with the result.
A lot of marketing to do now between Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google+ ( which is PS: looking like more work than the actual writing of the book).

The book event/launch/talk is live on Eventbrite and you can buy an Early Bird ticket now:
SMASH YOUR CEILING - #STOPITBookLaunch 
Thursday 12 October at 18.30
Business Design Centre
Islington
London

To pre- e-meet other super fab women in business attending the event, please use the following hashtags:
#SMASHYOURCEILING
#STOPITBookLaunch
#BDCWorks

I'm so excited about this book and I genuinely hope you will like it.

Laura x


#Hustle #GirlBoss #SmashThatCeiling
  #SmashYourCeiling
STOP IT! It's all in your head 
#dreambig #believe #youcan



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