Unconscious bias is difficult to talk about and resolve even though we can all have it. Some people feel they can’t have a bias because they are well-intentioned and in principle oppose the idea of racism. Others who may recognize their biases can feel embarrassed to admit it because they might worry about judgements made of them, especially if they ask questions that make them appear ignorant.
Admitting biases is also uncomfortable because many assume having a bias automatically makes them intentionally racist or discriminatory. But when we are honest with ourselves about how we think about others, we can look for information to correct false information, and improve how we engage with others. This mindful process can also help us identify how our thinking and behaviour contribute to systems in our work and community that perpetuate systemic racism.
When we are not mindful of our biases, they remain trapped in a box as does our ability to grow and resolve problems like racism, xenophobia and discrimination. The Bias Outside the Box (BOB) tool, helps us be honest with ourselves, and begin a mindful journey to think outside the box when it comes to unconscious bias.