Conquering Unconscious Bias to Build Better Relationships

It’s a simple fact: if you have a brain, you have bias. This team course will give your team a better understanding of unconscious bias, its origin, and how it can hinder intra-team relationships. It will also provide insight into how to foster a more inclusive, diverse environment.
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Course Details
45 mins - 1 hour  |  In-Person or Virtual  |  Beginner to Intermediate
Digital Coach: Charlotte Barber, BSc, PGC, BABCP®
Items needed for the session: Pen and Paper or use the activity template. 
Course Resources
Manager Guide
Activity Template
Summary Guide
Models & Tips
  1. Bias Iceberg Model
  2. The Circle of Trust
  3. EC² Model
Course Agenda

1. Theory: Understanding Unconscious Bias, Its Causes, and Its Effects

At the start of the session, Charlotte will introduce the concept of unconscious bias through a simple visualization exercise. From there, she will explain how everyone has biases because they stem from our feeling brain, not our thinking brain.
She will explain how our unconscious biases can infiltrate our workplace behavior and how that often leads to alienation, reduced participation, and even higher turnover. Lastly, Charlotte will explain several common types of unconscious bias.

Duration: 9 minutes

2. Discussion: What Unconscious Biases Do We Have and What’s The Impact?

The first discussion will center around an exercise known as the “Circle of Trust.” This is a great way to prove to people that unconscious bias is a real thing we must consider as professionals. Once we understand this, we'll discuss how these biases could affect our team and organization.

Duration: 15 minutes

3. Theory: Overcoming Unconscious Bias with Mindful Inclusion

In this section, Charlotte will introduce the concept of mindful inclusion, positioning it as the best way to avoid the pitfalls caused by unconscious bias. During this discussion, the team will learn about EC² Model, which they can implement in their efforts.

Duration: 4 minutes

4. Discussion: What Habits Can We Incorporate to Reduce Unconscious Bias?

The second discussion will focus on putting the EC² Model into practice. Specifically, Charlotte will instruct the team to collaboratively identify some habits that might effectively reduce unconscious bias and create a more inclusive and diverse environment.

Duration: 15 minutes

5. Theory: Wrapping up the Session

At the end, Charlotte will once again go over the concepts of unconscious bias and how the team can help counter its effects. She’ll also remind the team that the EC² Model is a powerful tool for creating a more conscientious workplace.

Duration: 2 minutes
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Course Trailer

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It’s good to see diversity, inclusion, and bias discussed in such a practical and honest way. Everyone on my team, including myself, walked away from this session feeling better about ourselves and our ability to create a more positive environment in the workplace. This session is a must-do if you really want to ‘detoxify’ the concept of bias."
Domenico Brunetti,
IT Support

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Your questions, answered


How can we tackle unconscious bias?

  • Acknowledge your biases.
  • Seek feedback to understand yourself better.
  • Step out of your comfort zone.
  • Actively work on reducing biases.
  • Admit and learn from mistakes.

How do you respond to unconscious bias?

You can combat unconscious bias by taking an Implicit Associations Test, monitoring your language, recognizing bias-prone situations, imagining positive interactions with diverse groups, and promoting mutual accountability among colleagues.

What are the 3 types of bias?

When discussing bias, especially in contexts like research, data analysis, and social interactions, the three major categories often highlighted include:
  • Cognitive Bias - This type involves errors in thinking that occur when processing and interpreting information in the world around us. Cognitive biases are often a result of our brain's attempt to simplify information processing.
  • Cultural Bias - Cultural bias involves judging and interpreting behaviors, traditions, and languages based on one's own cultural standards. It is the tendency to overlook cultural differences and interpret all phenomena through the lens of one's own culture.
  • Sampling Bias - In research and statistics, sampling bias occurs when the sample is not representative of the population as a whole, leading to inaccurate results. This can happen if certain members of the population are systematically more likely to be selected for the sample than others.

What causes unconscious bias?

Unconscious bias refers to the automatic judgments and assessments our brain makes beyond our conscious control. These biases are influenced by our background, cultural environment, and personal experiences.

What is an example of unconscious bias?

Here are some examples of unconscious bias, including racial bias, gender bias, and age bias.  
  • Racial Bias: Prejudice or discrimination against individuals based on their race, often manifesting through stereotypes or preferential treatment that negatively affects certain racial groups.  
  • Gender Bias: Discrimination or favoritism based on a person's gender, leading to unequal treatment, opportunities, or perceptions in various aspects of life.  
  • Age Bias (Ageism): Prejudice or discrimination against individuals based on their age, resulting in unfair treatment or stereotypes, particularly towards younger or older people.

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