Overcoming Bias by Deprogramming Your Brain

by Matt Fagaly

December 02, 2017

Let's be honest: everyone is biased.

There's nothing inherently wrong with bias. It's simply a term that describes the way our brains try to navigate the overwhelming amount of information we're bombarded with every second of every day. Thinking is hard. In order to function, we need to save cognitive space by taking shortcuts.

According to diversity and inclusion expert Tiffany Jana, co-author with Matthew Freeman of the book Overcoming Bias, our propensity to choose one thing over another becomes bad "when you allow unconscious biases—or blind spots—to influence your behavior and the way you treat others."

Considering how pernicious and ubiquitous it is for hateful biases to be hardwired into your brain and reproduced behaviorally, what can you really do to overturn something that is so deeply engrained?

Well, to start, you can begin the long process of deprogramming it. 

In the video below, Tiffany Jana and Matthew Freeman explain how the deprogramming journey begins by honestly identifying your in-groups and out-groups (believe me, the concept is as simple as it sounds). From there, it's a matter of intentionally placing yourself in situations where you need to interact with people entirely different from yourself.


This post is based on the book Overcoming Bias: How To Build Authentic Relationships Across Differences by Tiffany Jana and Matthew Freeman. 

Tiffany holds an MBA and is a Doctor of Management in organizational leadership. When she is not orchestrating her company TMI Consulting's growth, she is usually travelling the world.

Matthew does work for racial equity and social justice, which has led him across the United States and overseas, helping people connect across difference and begin to address the challenges that divide them. Along with Tiffany Jana, he is the co-founder of TMI Consulting.

Topics: Your World, 25th Anniversary, overcoming bias, tmi consulting, biases, implicit bias, bias, tiffany jana, unconscious bias, Organizational Change and Development

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