And, allow people who can see and feel them, to call out issues, and don’t then vilify them for it. (Image: The ‘Problem’ Woman of Colour in the Workplace)8
Above Difference would suggest you consider the most academically robust approach in helping with this mitigation, Cultural Intelligence (CQ). CQ is made up of four capabilities which when built on each other allow you to succeed in working and relating effectively with people who are different from you.
The first capability CQ Drive, your motivation to enter into work and personal situations with those different from you, can be hindered by your bias, conscious and unconscious, so being able to recognise the element of discomfort in yourself, challenge this and use the tools of intrinsic, extrinsic motivation as well as calling upon your self-efficacy, is vital. A CQ assessment helps you pinpoint where you are on this scale and that enables you to improve it.
CQ Knowledge, the second capability, helps you tackle bias by encouraging you to focus on growing what you know about those different from you.
The third capability, CQ Strategy is especially crucial when dealing with UB. It requires you to stop, think about what you’re thinking about and stereotype you might be holding, and check your assumptions. It asks you to be hugely self-aware. It means you plan before executing any behaviour in a situation with those who are different from you. As part of CQ Strategy we would agree you should put in place procedural changes that prevent the influence of hidden biases, as Professor Lai suggests.
Those high in the fourth capability CQ Action, have a broad repertoire of thoughtful behaviours to call upon, which means they’re less likely to act in a biased way.
Above Difference has, at its core, a fundamental belief, that an individual’s ability to decisively and intentionally create inclusive workplace cultures, can be developed, so diversity is recognised as an organisation’s greatest asset and all cultures are valued and respected. And that’s a very conscious credo.