I don’t know a soul without bias of some kind.
Even the best intentioned among us harbor some degree of conscious or unconscious bias. It impacts workplace productivity and, as we’re reminded — seemingly daily — it determines the level of peace in our communities.
In the workplace, and in every part of life, creating and sustaining spaces and places where people, with their differences and similarities, come together peacefully and work together harmoniously, is a real challenge.
In your search for solutions, consider meditation. In fact, a specific Buddhist meditation called Loving-kindness has had some amazing effects when it comes to reducing racial bias. Alexander Stell, the lead researcher of the study published in the journal Motivation and Emotion, said, “…some meditation techniques are about much more than feeling good, and might be an important tool for enhancing inter-group harmony.”
Through this study, the researcher learned that the seven-minute process of visualizing a person, and using the loving-kindness meditation – the phrase, “May you be happy and healthy” – shifted meditators’ regard for the person in a positive direction.
The loving-kindness meditation, or a similar practice that aligns with your particular beliefs and traditions, is something you can proactively choose to do any time the situation warrants.
Being less biased translates into increased effectiveness for leaders, teams and community members. To replicate the actions of the research subjects, take seven minutes a day to simply visualize a specific person from another culture, hold their image in mind and think to yourself, “May you be happy and healthy.”
While this may feel like a small step, it can be an effective way of you doing your part to diminish bias and enhance another’s sense of inclusion.