(Originally posted 12/28/2020)
In this video, Nance gives three tips for revealing your implicit biases. We all have them, but we can control how they impact our lives–and the lives of others. You will have the thoughts. It’s whether you act on them and how that matters.
- Listen with your third ear for broad generalizations you make or buy into. Have genuine curiosity about yourself and your surroundings. If you notice that you’ve adopted a belief about all people in a particular group, especially race, religion, gender, gender identity, physical ability, mental ability, or another protected class, investigate how you formed that belief and challenge yourself to prove it with objective evidence. It’s highly unlikely any group has members that are exactly alike. We’re all pretty complex human beings.
- Define the conflict you have with the “other(s)”. I like to use a simple framework, such as, “I disagree with [type of people] about [issue in dispute].” For example, “I disagree with the white men who dismiss the historical patriarchy’s impact on women’s earnings”. Notice that the statement of disagreement is very specific. It helps me see who I need to discuss the conflict with and what I might want to take action on. The more vague your statement is, the less responsibility (and power) you are taking over the conflict. This allows very little room for resolution, absent someone else jumping in and doing it the way you think it should be done.
- Identify your interests, or why this is important to you. Explore what you believe, want, and need with respect to the people in the group you’ve identified as one of others. Often, my clients discover they believe people should act a certain way–because they were taught to do this and comply. They want other people to do what they have been required to do, sometimes because they have to and sometimes because it just makes good sense for the good of society. Maybe they don’t really need the other people to act in any particular way as much as they need to recognize where they’ve been controlled and are now trying to control others. There is a wide range of possibilities, and each situation is as unique as the people in it.