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Posted by Lynn Brown, Digital Editorial Intern.
TMI Consulting experts Tiffany Jana and Matthew Freeman recently completed their manuscript Overcoming Bias: Building Authentic Relationships Across Differences. The book offers tools to start overcoming our unconscious biases and helps us understand why it matters. Read a sneak peek below:
"Human relationships are complicated. Co-author, Tiffany Jana remembers being in a taxi and the driver asked about her occupation. “When I said I worked on diversity and inclusion issues, the driver launched into a passionate monologue about black people and how he just doesn’t understand what all the fuss is about” recalls Jana. The driver was a retired, white male who genuinely meant no harm. He talked about his alcoholic father and how the driver simply made a choice to never live in poverty again. He thought poor black people should likewise choose not to be poor.
How do the taxi driver’s words strike you? Would you have said anything? Perhaps you agree with him, or not. Would your response depend on who else heard his comments? Often the context of bias is what throws us. Some people feel the need to defend the person or persons on the receiving end of the bias. Other people prefer to avoid conflict if at all possible. Maybe you don’t experience the driver’s comments as biased at all. There is no single correct response in these situations. You have to do what is comfortable for you. One of the goals of this book is to help you increase your bias fluency so you can be more aware of bias and move beyond it. Bulleted statements you see in bold throughout this book make great talking points when helping someone navigate their bias. The good news is that you are also human and may identify a few tips to navigate your own bias. One of the best ways to influence personal growth in others is to show them your own. It is for this reason that we will reveal personal accounts of bias and our attempts to overcome it. We will also introduce you to many other people who have confronted their biases, and in turn, helped their friends and colleagues do the same.”