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#WFH: Can You Change Unconscious Bias?

Changing unconscious bias is not easy. No one is ever completely free of unconscious bias. Psychol-ogy used to think that making people aware could make change easier but this has not been not substantiated by research. Awareness, though, is a first step. As Carl Jung stated, “until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.” What makes this even more interesting is that what we process unconsciously may not align with what we believe consciously. Society has come a long way in introducing us to diversity and inclusion. We have campaigned against stereotyping, de-personalizing and controlling bias but that has not eliminated them. Psychologist have been working to develop tests to measure unconscious associations but this is only so helpful (Kirwan, 2015).

As leaders in the virtual work environment, it is important to be mindful of what virtual workers are experiencing and help them become mindful of their actions and reactions so that they can respond rather than react. Keep in mind, the virtual culture within an organization and the F2F culture can be lonely and isolating experience. Understanding and addressing stereotyping, depersonalizing or con-trolling begins with understanding ourselves. Recognizing these in ourselves is a good place to start. Then we can begin to recognize them in others.

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