Our brains are exposed to as many as 11 million pieces of information at any one time, but our brains can only functionally deal with about 40 of those – creating filters that fuel unconscious bias.
Unconscious Bias operates beyond our control and awareness and is inevitable for all humans. It informs our perception or awareness of a person or social group and can influence our decision-making or behavior toward that person or group. Simply put, it is a mental blind spot that can negatively impact organizational culture, productivity, and ultimately company results.
With more and more companies seizing their opportunity to further expand their Diversity and Inclusion initiatives, Unconscious Bias training, when well executed, creates momentum and results in a real and authentic way. “Why Unconscious Bias training works is because teams realize the impact this has on all decision making,” explains Jessica Hall, Simpactful Partner, “Fundamentally all of our decisions go through filters and understanding that can lead to better ones. The results are real.” Hall goes on further to explain that people can be consciously committed to equality and equity and work deliberately to behave without prejudice and yet still have unconscious bias. The exciting news is that with desire, effort, commitment and a little bit of courage, it can be consciously defeated.
With professional experience leading Unconscious Bias training at Procter & Gamble and other leading CPG companies for Simpactful, Hall is extremely passionate about the topic and business results. “I’ve always been fascinated by how the brain works and processes things. I’ve always had the passion to peel back D&I inclusion topics and remove the resentment that forced trainings may have right from the start,” says Hall, “I engage and approach this topic authentically and differently. The feedback I’m most thankful for is when the participants notice my passion, energy, and personal understanding of this topic.”
Organizations invest heavily in D&I resources, but many of these investments can fall short if the facilitators conducting any type of D&I workshop lack the personal understanding or leadership isn’t on board. Great facilitators know how to manage a room filled with people with varying degrees of awareness, desire, and knowledge. They can create a learning environment to encourage learning that is effective for everyone and Simpactful has experienced facilitators who have trained over 1,000 on this topic alone. “The personal experiences and stories that are relatable to people is what differentiates a mediocre program FROM one that creates actionable strategies. There’s an element of teaching data in the material – we actually do spend time understanding how the brain works, but what really brings it to life are the personal stories shared and guided conversations. What makes a session truly powerful is for leaders to tell their personal stories.
Ideally, the setting is a workshop format with no more than 50 participants so immersion can happen, discussions can thrive and individual voices can be heard. However, there are modules for larger groups and shorter duration
Simpactful’s Unconscious Bias training program consists of 4 primary objectives that end with a team commitment to action:
- Educate – Build understanding of what Unconscious Bias is, where and how it shows up
- Engage – Create an interactive environment to share experiences and support
- Solve – Begin to identify individual and group actions to overcome any unintended effects of bias
- Commit – Personally and organizationally to be part of the move to Conscious Action
The success stories Simpactful has received from clients is that they are getting to a place of conscious action because of this training. The workshops guide participants to identify areas in the workplace where Unconscious Bias can really have unintended consequences, like retention, recruiting, and other business processes. “It’s important to have team leaders and decision makers be a part of this conversation to discuss tactical strategies that can be employed immediately,” explains Hall.
For organizations looking to speak authentically about Unconscious Bias and develop their own conscious action, contact Jessica Hall and the Simpactful team to set your D&I roadmap.
Reach out to Simpactful today at firstname.lastname@example.org or 925-234-6394.
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