Course Description

What is in a first impression? The assumptions and opinions we form about others come from previous experiences, encounters and events in our memory. From the moment that we initially see or hear a person, we form conclusions about who they are and how we feel about them. Unconscious bias bypasses our rational and logical thinking patterns and impacts our networking and long-term relationships with colleagues, clients and acquaintances.

In this course, participants will explore the phenomena of unconscious bias and how they can minimize its effects in the workplace and in customer/client relations. Participants will learn how their own unique identities shape their experiences and impact their day-to-day interactions with others. Participants will also learn strategies for minimizing the effects of unconscious bias, which take the form of verbal, nonverbal and environmental micro-messages. 

Once participants have built a basic understanding of social identity, they will examine the role of these concepts in their communication with others. They will gain an understanding of the difference between the intention of their actions and the impact those actions have on others and learn strategies for addressing negative impacts when they arise. Participants will gain greater confidence in their ability to communicate value and have a positive impact and will develop other skills to help them to create an inclusive workplace where everyone is respected, valued and appreciated.

Learner Outcomes

Upon completion, participants will be able to:

  • Increase awareness of unconscious bias in their own workplace.
  • Demonstrate skills around the use of metacognition to decrease the likelihood that bias will influence their interactions.
  • Demonstrate adaptive skills for addressing micro-inequities that suit their personal communication style.
  • Identify strategies to decrease the impact of bias on team dynamics.
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