I want to share insights from a 2015 study, conducted by Quinn and his collaborators in China, published in the journal Developmental Science on reversing bias:
They used photos of African and Asian faces and morphed them together to create ambiguous images that looked equally African and Asian, with some happier faces and some with more severe looks.
These images were shown to 4- to 6-year-olds in China who identified the more pleasant faces as Asian and the other group as African, who they rarely meet.
In trying to break this unconscious bias, researchers gave the African faces a name and spent time with the children until they could identify the faces by their names.
The children were again subjected to the same 2 groups of photos and their bias for their own race had dropped significantly.’
This is telling of how important it is to get past our stereotypes and get to know the ‘person’.
Putting a name to a face, bringing the individual to life make a major difference.
As a human, 10-15 minutes is all very powerful in connecting with the individual behind the face.
As a People leader, with this understanding, how can you put it in practice at work, for you and others?