Everyone harbors unconscious prejudice. The trick is gaining enough insight to prevent it from affecting who you hire and how you treat people. Skin color, gender and age are generally what people think of when they consider biases, but individuals can harbor unconscious prejudice about characteristics including Height and weight, Introversion and extroversion, Marital and parental status, Disability status etc.

All of these characteristics and many others can imperceptibly influence everything from who gets interviewed to who gets hired to who gets fired. They can affect the way people are mentored, how employees socialize with one another, who is given plum assignments and promotions, and much more. Which is why a growing number of corporations offer training programs aimed at rooting out hidden biases.

Here are a few tips for Avoiding Biased Behavior:

Increase purposeful mentoring and coaching - Sponsor people who are not like you.
Be proactive about recognizing people’s different capabilities, and help prepare them to take on challenging assignments
Consider who might consistently feel like an outsider, and take steps to actively address the situation
Establish clearly defined, measurable interview criteria against which all candidates will be evaluated
Set reasonable parameters around the nature and amount of help you will offer to special connections
Attend professional affinity group meetings and inclusiveness events to enrich your understanding of diversity
Evaluate your actions daily
Seek out regular feedback on your own behaviors and actions from trusted yet objective colleagues

The first step in any such training is the acceptance of having these biases and the awareness thereof. A specific Diversity program to deal with subconscious bias has been designed by psychologists, coaches, diversity consultants to bring you a concrete, multi-step format around working on the subconscious biases and their linkage to business decisions.

Vividhta Consulting
~Diversity and Inclusion Consulting India

Author's Bio: 

At Vividhta, we have experts in diversity helping you to create and manage successful Diversity programs. From recruitment to training, coaching, mentoring, monitoring and handholding, we cover the entire gamut of services around Diversity and Inclusion. Its not just about Diversity- with Vividhta, its about result orientation and success in Diversity.