Unconscious bias and conscious inclusion at work

According to research and consulting firm Gartner, teams with high diversity and inclusion show better adaptability, work satisfaction, creativity and loyalty to their company. Diversity is incredibly important to increasing team performance, but diverse teams that are also inclusive perform 1.4 times better than diverse teams that are not actively inclusive. Teams with these characteristics create more holistic solutions that help drive innovation – but what if there was something silently sabotaging your ability as a leader to create your “dream team” of employees?

As humans, our brains process and categorize information very quickly for the purpose of survival. But due to our instincts and inability to consciously process everything at all times, we often react and make decisions based on information that was processed unconsciously. This can manifest as unconscious bias.

When most people think of bias, they think of a negative action taken deliberately. However, unconscious biases can affect your behavior or decisions without you realizing it. For example, we may naturally gravitate toward people of the same race or gender. We may judge people unfairly based on certain physical attributes. Or we may place a higher value on information that we already agree with. When you introduce these unconscious biases into the workplace, the result can be inequities in how team members are treated.

 

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