Diversity Dialogues

LEARNING WHAT YOU’RE AFRAID TO FIND OUT

Everybody has unconscious bias. It’s unconscious. That’s why we don’t know about it. We don’t know it’s there until we say something we think is offensive. Then we stumble over a sincere but often inept apology. Sometimes the apology makes it worse. Unconscious Bias is the stumbling block in almost every conversation about cultural difference and all the other differences that make us uncomfortable. What’s going on? How do we find out what is in our unconscious minds? How do we avoid our discomfort in these conversations? We don’t usually want to make avoidable mistakes in public if we can make them in private and self-correct before we get embarrassed.

Most “diversity” training gives you information you don’t exactly know how to use or techniques to talk about uncomfortable subjects. Talking across lines of cultural difference isn’t about techniques. It’s about creating relationships of honesty, empathy and respect. We only learn how to do this with practice.

Dr. Jane Fried is a Licensed Professional Counselor who has more than thirty years’ experience teaching people how to talk to each other about uncomfortable subjects. Private conversations with her about discussions you need to have in your personal or professional life will give you a chance to set your own goals, anticipate the ways in which the other people will receive what you have to say and avoid the most difficult eruptions of unconscious bias.

Read more about race, racism, white fragility and talking about race.