Bias Intercultural Communication and Leadership Research Paper

Excerpt from Research Paper :

Q5. How will you deal with others in your workplace who feel they have no biases but you are aware that they do?

I think that sensitivity training and diversity education should be mandatory components of all workplaces. This type of training should include self-administered questionnaires like the HIAT to raise awareness about the commonness of prejudice and also role-playing and discussions about different assumptions and communication styles. I should note that I do not believe that explicitly 'calling someone out' on their prejudices and shaming them is particularly helpful; firmly presenting an alternative point-of-view or way of looking at the situation is much more effective. Organizations must also have strong and effective anti-discrimination policies to reduce bias. This can help all workers. "We have developed a "good person/bad person" paradigm of diversity. A more accurate depiction, however, is that we all have bias of one kind or another. It is not restricted to one or a few select groups of people" (Unconscious bias, 2013, Cook/Ross).

Simply being an EEOC employer is not enough to guard against bias. For example, "a recent resume study conducted by a team of economists found that candidates with 'white-sounding' names received 50% more call-backs for jobs than those with 'African-American sounding' names, even though the resumes were almost identical" (Implicit bias, 2013, Workplace Empathy). Even though the workplaces were EEOC-compliant and presumably had managers who were trained to respect diversity, cultural assumptions about what makes for a 'good' employee still had a substantial impact on hiring perceptions and subsequent offers of employment to job-seekers. It also likely has an effect on salaries and promotions at the company.

Q6. How will you manage yourself when, as a manager/boss you are dealing with people from other cultures and ethnic backgrounds and you know how implicit bias impacts one's decisions, attitudes and behaviors?

Diversity is not something that is achieved by simply incorporating people from different cultural backgrounds into the workforce. It is a value that must be reinforced consistently in the day-to-day life of the enterprise. I will fight to be self-conscious about my own behaviors and continually check in about my unspoken stereotypes and assumptions. "Perception is selective….Perceptual patterns are learned. We are not born seeing the world…Perception is culturally determined…Perception is consistent…Perception is inaccurate" (Textbook, 73). While these tendencies cannot be eradicated, at minimum self-consciousness can eliminate some of their negative effects.

I will also lobby for more inclusive organizational policies, which I believe will benefit both myself as a manager and the organization, given that diverse workplaces are more effective in today's multicultural America. Workplace policies should be clearly articulated, specifying a zero-tolerance for bias. "Problem-solving and complaint channels should provide multiple options, both informal and formal, for employees to handle situations of perceived harassment" (Best practices: Employers, 2013, Workplace Empathy). Workers should have a forum to discuss problems before they escalate, such as perceived harassment or interpersonal tensions. Workers should know that any and all discussions they have with trained HR staff will not affect their employment: this will dissuade them from leaving the company or seeking legal channels to rectify injustices instead of in-house strategies. There should also be an organizational focus on a range of behaviors beyond explicit biases (Best practices: Employers, 2013, Workplace Empathy). It is not enough to merely not discriminate -- language and policies should be inclusive and suggest that there is no 'typical' worker, in terms of the culture and image presented of company employees.


Best practices: Employers. (2013). Workplace Empathy. Retrieved:

FAQ. (2013). HIAT. Retrieved:

Implicit bias. (2013). Workplace Empathy. Retrieved:

Results. (2013). HIAT. Retrieved:

Unconscious bias. (2013). Cook/Ross. Retrieved:

Sources Used in Document:


Best practices: Employers. (2013). Workplace Empathy. Retrieved:

FAQ. (2013). HIAT. Retrieved:

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