The need for unconscious bias online training


Our existing ideas, knowledge, skill, and behaviour stick to us like glue. They are hard to get rid of. When we undertake unconscious bias online training, we soon come to appreciate this. Then the realisation of why everyone needs to undergo unconscious bias awareness training kicks in. There is a lot of unlearning to do before we begin the work of rebuilding our perceptions and our reality.

When we understand how implicit bias works and the grip it has on us, we will begin to see that inertia is the real enemy if we are going to change. Displacing our automatic reactions and views is indeed easier said than done. We will need a multipronged approach beyond simple awareness to begin to unravel this complex and deep-seated reliance on past experience and learning that acts as our impromptu guardian and guide that we have come to trust implicitly.

Shifting our focus

The good news during unconscious bias eLearning is that according to Sandlin, “as our contexts change with the ebb and flow of life, our optimal response changes, too”. So, when we come to an awareness of challenges and grasp their relevance to us, we can begin to take steps to remediate this.

When we determine that some aspects of implicit bias do not in fact serve us well and are not aligned with our value aspirations, we will acknowledge it is in fact in the best interests of ourselves and others to learn the skills necessary to do things differently going forward. The primary area of focus will need to be in terms of how we make decisions as well as our actual behaviour. Optimal functioning both in the workplace and in other aspects of our lives is the goal.

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We need thorough awareness to weed out what is not serving us well and compromising our potential to be and do better. Online diversity training for employees will make this point clearer as well. Allowing implicit bias to dominate our decision-making and behaviour is not a good survival strategy and those who cannot adapt to the new world order are likely to not thrive. Denial that the world is changing and that we need to align ourselves quickly will lead to bigger and bigger problems down the road.

Stopping before starting

Unconscious bias online training not only introduces us to new ideas but more importantly gets us on the right track to stop using old ideas and behaviour. The inspiration comes from seeing that there are alternative ways of looking at things if we hit the pause button, and alternative ways of interpreting information. In this process of deeper analysis and fact-finding, we surface an array of possible new conclusions that can lead us down a different decision-making path.

Unconscious bias awareness training allows us to get comfortable with admitting when we are wrong because it becomes clear that we all are flawed in similar ways and that it is unintentional often when we judge and mistrust unfairly. We become more determined to look for what is real and correct. Literally, we start to learn the skill of redirecting our decision-making proactively. It is not that we are no longer functioning on autopilot. Actually, we are just strengthening the interface between the conscious and the unconscious and in a sense holding our conscious selves more accountable. This is a dimension of growth and maturity that we must increasingly focus on.

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Workplace bullying training highlights the importance of pro-activity, accountability, and making conscious choices too to alter outcomes.

If we are clear on the outcomes we are seeking, there is a greater chance of us achieving them. It is therefore important to have benchmarks and milestones to measure our success and review our progress. Like any skill, we will gradually become more competent over time if we are committed to practising. More practice is required when at first things are foreign to us.

We will know that we have made progress in unlearning our past and acquiring new decision-making skills when we have truly mastered the art of critical thinking—with ourselves being the most scrutinised subject of this endeavour and being mindful that we will never absolutely “arrive”. Unlearning and relearning is a lifelong pursuit of discovery and development to embrace enthusiastically no matter the challenges.


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