11/29/23 – Unconscious Bias

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

The Leader's Guide to Unconscious Bias: How To Reframe Bias, Cultivate Connection, and Create High-Performing Teams by Pamela Fuller and Mark Murphy with Anne Chow

"The Leader's Guide to Unconscious Bias" by Pamela Fuller is a comprehensive resource offering leaders practical strategies to navigate and mitigate unconscious bias in the workplace. Fuller explores the impact of bias on leadership effectiveness and team dynamics, emphasizing the importance of self-awareness and reframing biases. The book provides tools for creating inclusive environments, cultivating authentic connections, and leveraging diversity to build high-performing teams. It also serves as a valuable guide for fostering inclusive leadership and driving positive change within organizations.

To listen to the authors discuss the book, please visit the first YouTube.

To listen to Pamela Fuller discuss breaking down unconscious bias, visit the second YouTube.

“How to Outsmart Your Own Unconscious Bias” by Valerie Alexander

In this TED Talk, Valerie Alexander begins with a brain exercise where she asks the audience to visualize scenarios and asks them who the people they pictured looked like. This pushes the audience to recognize the unconscious biases that we all have.

She draws from her experience as an attorney and CEO of a tech start up and shares how she consciously turns the unexpected into the expected and shares tips on how we can do the same.

1. Visualize situations before they happen as you go about your day. Whatever mental picture you get - change it and be open to different possibilities.

2. When you encounter the unexpected, have the courage to examine your behavior. Ask yourself, “Is this how I would handle this situation if this person looked like me or didn’t look like me?”

3. Make a conscious effort to expose yourself and others around you to things that are currently unexpected.

According to Alexander, “The biggest stumbling block to true equality is unexamined behavior.”

11/15/23 – Community and Implicit Bias

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

The Art of Community: Seven Principles for Belonging by Charles Vogl (Penn Libraries) (Amazon)

"The Art of Community" by Charles Vogl explores seven principles for fostering a strong sense of belonging within communities. Vogl emphasizes the importance of invitations in making people feel genuinely welcome and defines community as “mutual concern for one another.” He also highlights the impact of storytelling: "Stories are the most powerful way we humans learn. Every community, like every person, is full of stories. Sharing certain stories deepens a community’s connections."

To watch the author, Charles Vogl, talk about the book, please visit the link below. Here, Vogl shares how he and his now wife held dinner parties for friends while studying at Yale. It was not only a huge hit, but his invitations made others feel like they belonged and profoundly changed his friend Melo’s life.

“Implicit Bias -- how it effects us and how we push through” by Melanie Funchess (TED Talk)

Melanie Funchess explains how we all have implicit biases and how we need to be extremely self aware to call ourselves out on those biases. She speaks about this idea of “transformational activism” to create a world with equity and the four steps it entails.

1. Do your own personal work.
2. Make connections with people who do not look like you.
3. When you have privilege, use your privilege to create equity.
4. Intentionally and deliberately engage in non-biasing activities meaning put yourself into diverse groups to learn and share what you learn.

Funchess leaves the audience with the word “ubuntu,” a Nigerian Bantu word that means “I am who I am because of who we all are. And, we are who we are because of who I am...I see you, I see myself. When you look at yourself next time, see me.”

10/25/23 – Belonging and Inclusivity

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Belonging: The Science of Creating Connection and Bridging Divides by Geoffrey L. Cohen

What does it mean to belong? Cohen delves into the science behind creating this sense of belonging and explores research showing how individuals' beliefs about belonging can influence their behavior, academic performance, and relationships. Cohen discusses practical strategies for fostering belonging, particularly in educational settings. He emphasizes the importance of an inclusive and supportive environment and how a sense of belonging can bridge divides, mitigate stereotypes, and promote diversity and equity. This book highlights the psychological factors that influence belonging and offers actionable insights for building more inclusive communities and organizations.

To watch Geoffrey Cohen talk about the book, please visit the link below.

Dare to Lead Podcast

Dare to Lead with Brené Brown, “Brené with Aiko Bethea on Inclusivity at Work: The Heart of the Hard Conversations”

Brené Brown and Aiko Bethea engage in a candid conversation about inclusivity in the workplace. They delve into the complexities of fostering true inclusivity, moving beyond surface-level diversity efforts. The podcast highlights the importance of having uncomfortable, yet necessary, conversations to address systemic issues and create a more equitable work environment. Bethea shares her expertise on navigating these difficult discussions and provides valuable insights into building a workplace culture that genuinely values diversity and prioritizes belonging for all employees. They highlight the importance of transformational vs transactional leadership. It's a compelling exploration of the heart of inclusive workplaces that can apply to creating inclusive student groups as well.

Belonging, A Critical Piece of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion by Carin Taylor (TED Talk)

Carin Taylor discusses the crucial role of belonging in the broader context of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts. Taylor shares the “Five Tenets of Belonging”: psychological safety, empathy, acceptance, connection, embraced (PEACE) and how these must be in place for people to feel like they belong in a space or organization. She also shares how she came to the conclusion that there is no single definition for belonging. Taylor shares insights from her own experiences and highlights how organizations can foster a sense of belonging by addressing systemic barriers and fostering connections. Her talk underscores the significance of recognizing and addressing the emotional and psychological aspects of DEI, making it a powerful addition to the conversation on building more inclusive workplaces and communities.

Why Some Companies Are Saying ‘Diversity and Belonging’ Instead of ‘Diversity and Inclusion’ by Jennifer Miller (New York Times).

The focus shifts from "diversity and inclusion" to "diversity and belonging." The article examines how this change in terminology reflects a deeper commitment to fostering inclusivity and equity within organizations. It explores how "belonging" highlights the importance of creating environments where all employees feel valued, respected, and empowered. By emphasizing belonging, companies aim to go beyond surface-level diversity efforts and truly integrate individuals from diverse backgrounds into the fabric of the organization. This shift underscores the significance of building cultures that promote genuine connections and a sense of community among employees.