Black in November, I was honored to be invited by entrepreneur and Renaissance Man Christopher Plant of Kismet Coworking to speak at GreatPHL. When I accepted, I told Christopher that it would be a stretch. I literally completed a book the afternoon before. Though I’d been thinking about my topic and preparing for weeks, I’d had no mental bandwidth to write my presentation until the morning I was scheduled to step out on stage. YIKES!
Though I speak publicly about bias when I do professional-development in-service trainings in schools, it’s a sensitive enough topic that it’s important to speak thoughtfully. Then again, part of my point was that we all need to relax and give each other room. Unconscious, or implicit, bias is natural. Every human being is biased in one way or the other. Once we accept that, we can consciously work on reducing our biases.
I don’t know a lot of people who wake up each morning intending to be unfair. That said, reducing and or becoming aware of our biases does take intentional effort. It’s a great area in which to practice the growth mindset, Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck’s work where we get comfortable stepping outside of our comfort zone and being uncomfortable so that we can grow. I decided to do that with this presentation — and I learned that I could trust myself do decently with less prep time than I’d normally have.
In this 20-minute presentation, I talk about how examining my own biases helped me release attitudes and behaviors that I was secretly ashamed of and freed me to be the person whom I’d always aspired to be. Enoy!