Unconscious Bias at Kent Police ‘Valuing Difference’ conference
As the title suggests, we are unaware of the unconscious biases we all have that are reinforced by our belief systems, values, experience, language and existing work practices. Creating awareness of bias and the thinking and behaviours that create it helps organisations grow. By identifying biases and their causes staff can then commit to changing language and behaviours to mitigate bias and make better decisions based on fact.
Kent Police’s ‘Valuing Difference’ conference in October was attended by over 400 police officers of varied rank, at which Laughology delivered a keynote, alongside a strong and varied line-up of speakers. Audience members were keen to contribute with one person challenging the gender pro-nouns that had been used at the conference, an interesting point given that there is so much gender bias in everyday language that we are unaware of that impacts on communication, decision-making and job progression.
Takeaways for the audience included slowing down the brain to reduce emotional, knee-jerk reactions and being aware that multi-tasking and tiredness increases bias and thinking errors, as Kerry discovered on a busy week when she accidentally caught the train to Coventry instead of London.