Well, what do you expect! (3 July 2019)

Those tattoos, gross! And the glasses on top of the head; and the shorts – well, it’s not even that hot! And OF COURSE he had a snarly little white dog, diddums-widdums! Probably drives a white van, and supports the Hammers. So he was a bit rude; of course he was! He wouldn’t appreciate a nice Bordeaux; prefers a lager, I’ll bet!

Wait…….. STEREOTYPE ALERT!!!!!

We all like to think we are free of bias and prejudice, and that we take people as they come, with no immediate judgement – er, don’t we?! In fact, sizing people up, at once and with no real evidence, is one of our most popular activities, and maybe part of our coping mechanism in a hurried, fast-moving world

A “stereotype” is a cognitive shortcut — it allows your brain to make a snap judgment based on immediately visible characteristics such as gender, race, or age. Your brain is hardwired to make quick calls; the problem comes when we start to apply those stereotypes beyond that immediate impulse. That’s called “bias,” which is basically a belief that a stereotype is true. For example, the stereotype that girls are bad at science can lead to the suggestion that some innate difference between women and men leads to this discrepancy.

But you can do something to curb the negative effects of bias and stereotypes.
1. Identify your own biases: be honest – what biases do you have, based on gender, sexuality, age, race, the clothes people wear, the cars they drive, which school they went to.
2. Admit that you have those biases — it’s ok! It’s what you do next that matters.
3. Keep those biases in mind and take steps to correct them by slowing down and recognizing where they might be coming into play in your life. Are your “gut feelings” about people you meet valid; and are you discounting what people are saying because of your biases?
4. Expose yourself to different experiences. By stepping out of your usual routines, you might better understand people who are different from you or how stereotypes came to be. Travel and education can go a long way toward mitigating biases.
5. Raise awareness of biases. The first step to changing a problem is admitting you have one — and society has a problem. Have conversations with friends and encourage them to think about their own biases – even talk about them

And you might even find you really like all sorts of people you wouldn’t usually talk to…..!

All the best

Graham
 

www.tigercoaching.co.uk - email: graham@tigercoaching.co.uk - tel: + (44) (0) 7890 360 806 - skype: tigercoaching1