The Good, The Bad and The Blind Spots: Targeting Beyond Unconscious Bias

Carolina Caro, MS, MBA, PCC, leadership coach

In order for us to move the needle to cultivate cultures that are truly inclusive and equitable, we first need to acknowledge and accept that we are all bias. Our brains gather millions of bits of information from our surroundings every second. The adaptive mental processes that enable us to sort all that data will categorize familiar patterns unconsciously. Developments in neuroscience now demonstrate that many of these biases are formed throughout life and held at the subconscious level, mainly through societal and parental conditioning. Scientists developed the Implicit Association Test (IAT), an assessment that measures our biases and can provide some insight into how our brains function. Once we normalize this, we can begin to explore with less judgment how these biases influence us and to what extent. Research has shown that diversity of thought is only a business imperative but a competitive advantage. Yet we need to develop our skills to leverage and productively manage our differences so that they don’t become drivers of divisiveness. A commitment to inclusivity demands that we become more sophisticated and agile in creating space and celebrating a wide spectrum of perspectives and experiences.