In the Reveal Your Path coaching program, there’s a concept we call the “Environment of Excellence.” These are the people, messages, and mindsets that influence us— the very same factors that shape our “Implicit Biases.”
So much of what we talk about here on Success Through Failure is about mindset— unlocking the power of our mind, revealing limiting beliefs, and the unconscious wiring that often controls us and our actions.
Oftentimes we fail because we tell ourselves a story that we’re not good enough, or not smart enough, or not capable enough— or maybe others tell us that story… Maybe it’s through their body language, their facial expressions, how they talk to us, or maybe even what we see in the media.
This is all part of the messaging that we receive from our environment that shapes our unconscious beliefs about ourselves and others.
Social Psychologist and Morehouse College professor, Dr. Bryant Marks, joins us in this episode to reveal the hidden secrets that are stored inside of our minds: about who we are, who others are, and the resulting unconscious actions that we take without even knowing it.
I want you to listen to this interview with the goal of better understanding your unconscious, automatic mind, and the actions you take that affect both you and others that influence our society today. Tune in now!
If you don’t have time to listen to the entire episode or if you hear something that you like but don’t have time to write it down, be sure to grab your free copy of the Action Plan from this episode— as well as get access to action plans from EVERY episode— at JimHarshawJr.com/Action.
[00:00] Dr. Bryant Marks: When people think of this biased stuff, it's not all egregious and awful, but lawful it's not super bad. Usually in the workplace in particular bias is subtle. It's when you have two options and you choose one option for a certain group of people and another option for another group. And if I called you one and you could justify either one, because both of them are option.
[00:19] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: Welcome to another episode of success through failure. This is your host, Jim Harshaw, Jr. and today we're bringing you Dr. Bryant Marks. So much of what we talk about here on success through failure is about mindset. Unlocking the power of our mind. We've talked about revealing the limiting beliefs in the unconscious wiring that often controls us in our actions.
[00:43] Oftentimes we fail. And because of that failure, we tell ourselves a story that, you know, we're not good enough or not smart enough, we're not capable enough. Or maybe others tell us that story. Maybe it's through their body language or just their facial expressions or how they talk to us. Or maybe it's even what we see in the media.
[01:01] And this is all part of the messaging that we receive from our environment that shapes our unconscious beliefs about ourselves and about others. In Reveal Your Path, which is my coaching program. We call it the environment of excellence and these are the people and the messages and the mindsets that influence us in today's interview is all about revealing these hidden secrets that are stored inside of our minds, about who we are, who others are and the resulting unconscious actions that we take, whether we know it or not.
[01:32] So Dr. Bryant marks our guest today, he's a social psychologist and a professor at Morehouse college. He conducts research and professional development around implicit bias, and he's trained tens of thousands of professionals across many industries on the topic. And this is a fascinating conversation that we had that you're about to listen to.
[01:51] You can get all the notes in the action plan. Just go to JimHarshawJr.com/action. There's a test that he talks about in the episode. This is an implicit bias test that he references. And I have the link to that in the action plan. So you can grab that there and test this stuff out for yourself and see where you land.
[02:07] And if you see this episode, post it on social media, please give it a retweet, give it a share, give it a comment, give it a like, because that is how this podcast grows. And how I'm able to get these great guests on to bring them to you. All right, here we go. Let's get into it. My interview with Dr. Bryant marks, what is implicit bias?
[02:26] Dr. Bryant Marks: So implicit bias is essentially when a stereotype, which is sort of an exaggerated association of a group with a trait can affect how we think feel or behave at an unconscious. That's pretty much it. And so, you know, when you think of certain groups, if I say police officer, you think male, you have an association of male with police officer.
[02:45] You're not a bad person cuz 88% of police officers are men. If I say nurse and you think female, not a bad person, but you associate female with nurses. That's the foundation of implicit bias. Are these implicit associations that we develop over our lifetime that can influence just how we think about someone.
[03:02] When they walk in the door, how we feel about them liking or disliking them based upon the group to wish they belong or how we behave, which can take the form of discrimination. We may provide certain benefits to one group and some disadvantages to another. So it could be favorable or unfavorable. Implicit biases could be either one.
[03:18] Dr. Bryant Marks: Absolutely. There are basically two key ingredients for having implicit. Only two living in society. Number one, and number two, having a brain. That's it. If you live in society and have a brain, you have implicit bias, it comes with the package. Right? Think about the brain as like the hardware.
[03:35] We all have one, but our brain is designed to lock in associations. Even if you have a learning difference, we lock in associations. It is the foundation of learning flight versus fight, that sort of thing. So if we live in our society and you're supposed to one group that is positive trait to that group, a different group, negative traits of that group, you're gonna lock it in implicitly automatically.
[03:53] So yes, some associations are positive with certain. Others can be negative, so it can work either way. It's all about disproportionate exposure and we're all overexposed to certain groups, to certain traits or certain groups in certain roles.
[04:07] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: Why does our brain work this way? Like this is just human nature.
[04:09] Like why is this built into our brain? Was there ever a, a purpose for it?
[04:14] Dr. Bryant Marks: My evolutionary psychologist, friends had argue that there's an evolutionary benefit to it. Let's go with flight versus fight. So back in the day, the first human beings on an African Seren, Getty, and you're out, you know, walking, you see this lion coming at you just running and growling.
[04:28] You're not gonna say, oh, that's a lion coming at me. What should I do? No, your instinct is to run because you've come to associate danger with that. Just by living a society and having a brain that association is there. So those who could associate these fruits and berries are nutritious. This food I can eat that's stuff.
[04:43] I cannot eat it enhanced their survival likelihood. So from an evolution perspective, our goal is to live to reproductive age, pass on our gene and whatever facilitates that process is gonna be reinforced and pass on. And so some would say. The ability to associate one thing with another is foundational to existence and it enhances survival and it could help you avoid danger as well.
[05:04] In modern times where we have complex social organizations and hos it's a bit more nuanced, a bit more layered. Every Association's not about survival, but it's still built upon that foundation of overexposure to a group and a trait or one thing. And another, it doesn't have to be a group. It can be an animal.
[05:20] It could be a, when I say apple, what comes. Might think red, yellow, green, you might think you make apple pie or drink apple juice, right? You may think George Washington, I don't know. I mean, that's a cherry tree, but, but the notion is you might different things come to mind when I just say the object. So you have sort of a cognitive network around objects or people.
[05:37] So this is hardwired
[05:39] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: into us. It's natural. It was helpful for us in the evolutionary sense. It seems like such a nebulous thing. It's just this thing we can't measure it. It feels like, but can we, I mean, is this something that you can quantify and measure?
[05:55] Dr. Bryant Marks: Yeah. So there's several ways. So social psychologists and sociologists been looking at this for, in a formal sense about 50 years or so.
[06:02] And so there are several measures of implicit attitudes, implicit associations, the most well known, probably the implicit association, sta the I a T. This was, uh, Anthony Green, Wal and monitoring Ji. You can just Google it. The implicit Association's test. The first two links pop up it's in Harvard-based test.
[06:20] So you click on a link and take it to the site. There's over 30 different tests you can take. They're all free. You get your results in 10 to 12 minutes, you can assess your implicit bias of gay people. Very straight people, black versus white male, female by religion, disability, over 30 different tests that you.
[06:36] And then there's other tests that are pencil and paper is subtle as well. So there are different ways that we get at the implicit and some would say that the implicit is more of a pure measure. Of bias or associations then explicit. It's not cool to be an ism, racist, ageist, sexist. It's that's not cool.
[06:53] So if you have a question about how you feel about a certain group, people may be motivated to answer in a certain way. Do they feel a socially acceptable at the implicit level? You cannot control it to that extent. However, here's a caveat, the extent to which your implicit associations or attitudes predict explicit behavior that varie.
[07:11] That's where a controversy comes in around the IAT and other measures. It's what does it predict? It measures the associations pretty well. That's solid science, how well it predicts explicit behavior. That depends on the behavior. Depends on the person. Depends on the situation.
[07:25] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: And for the listener, we talk a lot about mindset and about the unconscious mind and how it controls and dictates our actions.
[07:32] And one of my favorite quotes is until you make the unconscious conscious. It will control your life and you will call it fate. And really that's what we're talking about here is this unconscious stuff going on in our hard wiring that is resulting in thoughts, or certainly actions that happen in the world, whether it's the food you eat, or the person that you hire, or how you interact with somebody in your classroom.
[07:58] And, and I was fascinated to discover in my research for our conversation here, Dr. Marks that. Our strongest negative biases is around elderly people followed by obese people that surprised me.
[08:11] Dr. Bryant Marks: Mm-hmm well, a couple of things to your point about the unconscious. Yes. Some psychologists would estimate that 80 to 90% of our thoughts and behaviors throughout the day, unconscious automatic.
[08:20] We do not process under our conscious level. Like, just think about your facial expression. Like I'm looking at you right now. You're not thinking about your face, but I see it. It is communicating most of us throughout our days are not constantly thinking about our facial. But they're there the whole time and they're communicating the whole time.
[08:35] So there's a lot of nonverbals and a lot of different things that happen that are completely unconscious. And so yes, when you have to make decisions, so bias tends to creep up in moments of discretion, moments of decision might be some small decisions or might be major decisions, performance evaluations, or looking at a resume.
[08:52] Do I invite this person in for an interview? All types of things can happen. But yes, the unconscious is a driving factor because your brain is so efficient. It's processing the world in milliseconds all the time. Like each time you walk outside, you don't have the process. The grass is green. The sky is blue.
[09:06] Your brain is doing all that. But if you walked outside and the sky was purple, you notice it. Cuz your brain is like, oh, it doesn't fit my schema, my expectation of the sky. So it's gonna make the unconscious conscious. You're gonna notice it and then maybe have some questions, but if it fits in what you expect, your brain is like a checklist is checking a box.
[09:23] Now in terms of other people with obesity and it seems counterintuitive, but when you think about it, it actually makes sense. Think about it. What other group will all of us eventually join when it comes to bias? Right? Every single one of us, if we live long enough will become elderly. And what do we associate with being old?
[09:40] Right? The science says negative physical traits, right? Gray hair, wrinkles. Alzheimer's immobile, diapers, Viagra, stuff like that. And people do say diapers of Viagra, but the notion is we associate these negative traits with the elderly, but I don't care if you're black, white, Hispanic, Asian male, female, rich or poor poor father time is defeated.
[10:03] All of us are heading that way. Okay. So you can't take it with you. So think about it is a universal group. If we're all headed
[10:11] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: that direction, what's the point of us having a negativity bias around that around elderly people. It goes
[10:17] Dr. Bryant Marks: back to the formula because over our lifetimes, we're overexposed to negative traits to elderly people.
[10:22] What do you associate with elderly? Wrinkles die. All these bad things. I mean, people say yeah, wisdom and experience. Okay. But outside of that, mostly negative. And then what happens after you're old? What's the next chapter you die? So wait a minute. I'm gonna join this group. My body's gonna fall apart and then I'm going die.
[10:39] Yep. Right. Who wants to join that group? So the notion is that the ratio of positive next. So you have these negative traits with the elderly. You have positive traits with. People like youth, they like smooth skin. They like tone bodies. There's certain positives associated with youth and they got negatives with the elderly.
[10:56] That's what think about in the us in particular, we will manipulate our bodies to the tune of billions, of dollars to keep that younger version, as long as we can. What do we do? We get to comb over, get a little color, get a little nip, get a little tuck. We get spanked up and sucked in and all these different things.
[11:10] Why is that to maintain the younger version of our. Yeah,
[11:15] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: and that's attractive. And it makes sense again, in the evolutionary sense, like, because that makes you attractive in greater sex appeal. Even if you're not thinking of that consciously, it's like unconsciously, we are more accepted if we are attractive and therefore we have a bias towards those things.
[11:32] Dr. Bryant Marks: much. And so we'll spend billions. Billions to do that. So getting a nip or a tuck that is not a health decision, most of the time, that is a beauty decision. Like if you gotta get gastro bypassed, something like that. Okay. I get that. But sometimes people just wanna look better and they'll pay a lot of money, look better and look younger.
[11:50] So what other group do we associate death? Just think about it and it makes sense. You go to a funeral. Your grandparents is an elder body in a casket. That's good. They live a nice long life. That's a good. But you still are exposed at an association, elderly body casket, elderly body death, which on the one hand is a good thing.
[12:07] But on the other hand is forming the association. So now you think in that group, you think about negativity. You think about death at an implicit level, you're still a good person, but the association has been established.
[12:15] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: Just be clear. This is not a good person, bad person thing. This is just the nature of people.
[12:22] Dr. Bryant Marks: Yes. The character is irrelevant when it comes to EPIs bias.
[12:25] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: So why is this important? How does it affect people? Because
[12:28] Dr. Bryant Marks: again, 80 to 90% of our thoughts behaviors throughout the day, driven by implicit processes. So it's very important because in every major facet of American life in the US, we have racial, ethnic disparities.
[12:40] So just talking about in the US, right? Healthcare, income, education, housing, criminal justice, employ. All of them. Every single one of them has racial and ethnic disparities. I'm talking about, you could have a resume, one resume and a resume saying James versus Jamal James. Most likely be called it for the interview.
[12:59] Same resume, copy and pasted word for word ethic, names and resumes. Malik, Aisha, Jamal, less likely to be called in front interview than mainstream sounding names on the same resume. Mike, John James, same resume, copy, and pasted word for word different outcome. Depending on the name. Now I'm a hiring manager.
[13:16] I don't even know what that's happening. I look at a resume. I was Jamal. I don't say Ooh, Jamal. Uh, he's a young black male. I don't like them. No job for him because he is young black male. No, but Jamal activates a category black. I've been living in society, having a brain know in my lifetime, I've come to be exposed to negative traits with young black males.
[13:32] So now I look at the name, oh, this is triggered. I don't even know it, making it implicit. I'm still a good person, but it's already activated. So now I'm reading a resume with this negative feeling. Yeah. I don't know. He looks okay, but you know, I don't know if he's gonna be a fit for our culture, no interview for him.
[13:45] And I can still be a good person, not even knowing it's happening, even in performance evaluations. So it's another study that came out 2014 when they looked at law firms. So they gave a resume out to partners at a law firm. So there's like 40 partners at a law firm and they all get the same research brief in half.
[14:00] About 20 of them were led to believe that brief was written by a white associate. The other led to believe was written by a black associate same resume. Now, in this resume, there were errors, some typos, grammatical mistakes, that sort of thing. What did they find? The partners who thought that the brief was written by a black associate, found more errors and gave it a lower rating.
[14:18] Those who thought the same brief was written by a white associate, gave it a higher rating. Didn't find as many errors. Remember it's the same resume. Now let's, let's deconstruct this. If I'm a partner over here and I believe this is a black associate that wrote this brief as soon as I okay, who wrote this brief black person, as soon as I know, it's a black person asked me, it's a category for black people and the traits stereotypes associated categories are activated automatically in milliseconds.
[14:42] So what do we know about the traits of stereotypes associated black folks in the US lack of professionalism, not as smart, you know, not as well-read educated, that sort of thing. It's already. Just by me knowing their category. So now it becomes a confirmation bias. I'm expecting to find errors based upon who the author is.
[14:59] So now I'm reading it line by line expect and I'm catching every single error. Cause I expect it to be there partners over here. Okay. Who wrote this? Oh, white associate. Okay. Okay. Turn it in. The same traits are not activated. The same expectations are not there. And this we're talking all milliseconds automatically, and these are still good people and that's not what happens.
[15:16] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: This next question may be larger than we can cover in this interview, but why does that implicit bias against black people exist and the resume example and the performance review example. Why is that there? Where does it come?
[15:28] Dr. Bryant Marks: Now people have isms, racism, sexism, ageism bias, group-based bias, all sorts of reasons.
[15:33] A couple of key ones, a lack of exposure to diversity within another group. So we tend to be over-exposed to our in-groups and under-exposed to outgroups. And that lack of exposure can cause sort of a riff or differentiation and perception. Say for example, as a black person, and this has been shown with police lineups, but as a black person, I can very easily differentiate skin tone, eye color, hair texture amongst black.
[15:57] I've been around it all my life for white people, you might say, oh, Hey, her hair's a Sandy brown, a blonde or whatever. I'm like, whatever's blonde. Like, I won't know all the nuance, all the layers, because I have been underexposed to the out-group now in the US, I'm more likely to expose to white people cuz white folks think of the majority.
[16:12] But in terms of day-to-day, I'm gonna have a sort of a balance of exposure. That's a bit different, but tends to happen is when. Underexposed to an out-group. You tend to see them through stereotypical general terms. When I was a university of Michigan as a graduate student, I was an advisor, a counselor in the psychology department and I advised undergrads.
[16:29] And so I had several undergrads for those who don't know, Michigan is shaped like a hand. The upper part of Michigan is called the upper peninsula. I had several white students at the University of Michigan who said the first time they saw a black, Hispanic, or Asian person in person was when they came to college.
[16:44] They'd never seen them. They were under. So the whole impression of those groups was through the media movies and TV. Now I don't blame them. Why cuz where do we grow up? We grew up in a places. Our parents decide we grow up. I can't blame a kid cuz they, their parents decided to live in a certain town. I can't say what's wrong with you.
[17:01] No, they live where their parents live. Okay. But they acknowledged they had been underexposed. And that now they're meeting these people in person, and they're seeing the diversity of each of these groups and it's sort of challenging and preconceived notions. So one of the key basis for bias is under-exposure to our groups, overexposure to in groups.
[17:18] And then when we're over expos to our in group, we tend to favor our in-group, your family, your friends, your we around them. We favor them and we tend to treat our in-group members slightly are much better than Alro members. It's the nature of the human condition. So if you see somebody like when people say things.
[17:32] We're losing our country, like our country, like our, in a possessive pronoun sense, like it's theirs and these other people doesn't belong to them. So that's saying that somehow they're part of a group, then this country belongs to their group and it does not belong to other groups. That's very interesting.
[17:47] Cause what's the criteria of possession. How do you determine whose country this is the objective scientific. Very subjective. Right. But if I could see somebody as the other, as not belonging, I can show bias towards them. Cause I'm gonna favor my in-group. But in my statement is your solution. What if we could expand the in group, all of us as Americans, we're all Americans, the out-group is Europe, right?
[18:10] You know, we can form out groups for the external, but if we also each other as Americans, if we all belong, we could all bond with each other. But if I see myself as a certain type of American and you're different and you're different and you're. The bias was still formed. So that in-group, outer bias is another key element amongst others.
[18:25] So like tan that we go over in our trainings, but those are two key ones.
[18:28] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: What about to the person who says, well, when I turn on the evening news, it's young black males who I see getting in trouble.
[18:37] Dr. Bryant Marks: And that does happen. It's gotten actually better. Believe it or not. Over the last few years, it still happens.
[18:42] But now with the frequency, like the eighties and nineties, but yes, it's about exposure. So they're watching the six o'clock news. If it bleeds, it leads first temp to eight, 12 minutes in their, a block. They see these things. And so yes, over exposure, get that associated every time they see it, that's a data point, a data point, a data point.
[18:57] Every time I see it, they can be a good person, but they're overexposed and this grouping is. Day to day. And so at a conscious level, they can say, oh, black folks commit all the crime that's intellectually lazy, but it could come to that conclusion. Or they could say, well, maybe it is just that the media, we tend to lead with these violent crimes.
[19:14] And in our urban area, it disproportionately happens in black communities for a variety of reasons. Right. So they have to sort of wanna go there. Overpolicing lack of resources, the family structure, education, all of that is behind crime, which all of the things that
[19:27] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: just said by the way, I believe is all tied to implicit bias, like the lack of resources and all of the other things.
[19:35] Like it's tied to a history of implicit bias going back hundreds of years
[19:41] Dr. Bryant Marks: in our country. Absolutely. So people say today, well, black folks need to get over it and everything else and it's on them. Okay. If we're intellectually honest, And this rewind the clock. These dots are very, very easy to connect.
[19:55] Okay. When people say things like you, we're a nation of immigrants, nation of immigrants. That is not true. Everybody listening, please. If you're multitasking right now, please stop and listen to what I'm about to say. The United States of America is not, has not been and never was a nation of immigrants.
[20:11] That is factually incorrect. think about when you say the US as a nation of immigrants in the same breath, you are dismissing the Native American experience in the African American experience. Why native Americans will already. It was slaughtered or displaced. African Americans were kidnapped and brought him chains by force to what many argue was the worst form of slavery in human history.
[20:33] That is not immigration. Immigration is a voluntary act. Look at the word. Immigration to Margaret is a voluntary act to seek a better life on refuge, on purpose with intent. Okay. It's not voluntary. If you kidnap and force. No other group in the history of the US was enslaved in American story besides black folks.
[20:50] So why would you today think about it logically and didn't native Americans. Hold other thing, why would you expect the descendants of terrorism and trauma and slavery and genocide today? Their descendants to be in the same socioeconomic status or station of life as the descendants of immigrants and privilege.
[21:05] That is irrational, illogical and downright silly don't make any sense. Okay. If you have different input for hundreds of years, you're going to have different output. It's just a logical conclusion. So yes, today we have these perceptions that are rooted in hundreds of years of history.
[21:23] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: Quick interruption. Hey, if you like what you're hearing, be sure to get the notes, quotes and links in the action plan from this episode, just go to JimHarshawJr.com/action. That's JimHarshawJr.com/action. To get your free copy of the action plan. Now, back to the show, if you were on a panel right now, and maybe you've been on panels before, where there's somebody who is.
[21:46] Trying to poke holes in your argument, or maybe you'll have an audience and somebody stands up and says, yeah, but what are the rebuttals that you hear to what we're talking about here today?
[21:58] Dr. Bryant Marks: It's emotional. All I say is show me data. Show me the data that says two black men who are getting sentenced. The black men is getting longer sense.
[22:05] Show me the data that says on a resume, Jamal versus James Jamal's at a disadvantage. Show me the data that says, if you get a housing appraise and it proceed to be a black family versus white family, the house is appraised at a lower value. Show me the data that says those things are not happening today.
[22:18] We didn't even talking about, historically, I could cite you studies from this year. You can just Google this stuff. Every facet of American life is still showing disparities. So if they could show me some science that says that's not the case, then I'm all ears. I cannot deal with the emotions. Cause I can't argue with emotions.
[22:36] I'm showing you what's happening. You show me that it's. And they can't. So oftentimes when I see it's emotional, I just let 'em talk and okay. And I'll just say, can you show me some data to support that? What are you basing that on? And they can't produce it. So don't get into emotional arguments with folks around this stuff, critical race theory, all that stuff. Don't let it get emotional.
[22:54] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: It's so emotional though. It's such an emotional thing. And, and I I'll be Frank. My podcast is about success, failure learning from failure. This is part of what we're gonna talk about here, but it is an emotional topic. I was in major gifts fundraising, you know, years ago for the University of Virginia, I was talking with a woman, very successful and, and she said, boy, as a white male, you must feel so.
[23:15] I forget what the word she said. It was something along the lines of like persecuted as a white male. And I always believe that if we disagree with someone. The best way to sort of come to agreement, cuz we're not trying to win a fight here, an argument, the best way to come to an agreement or agree with each other and find the common ground is to put yourself in that person's shoes and have to explain the situation from their point of view.
[23:36] Okay. So from her point of view, she's seeing things like. Affirmative action and white males being blamed and sort of maybe culturally or there's a sense of that, that white men are a problem or the source of the problem. So I can understand where she's coming from on that side. But as a white male, I mean, I look around and I look at, you know, CEOs and presidents and people of influence and, and they look like me, but I do understand there's a grain of.
[23:57] Truth on that side. There's information that she's going off of that made her say that. Yeah.
[24:02] Dr. Bryant Marks: And provide some context for your audience. So I'm a professor, I'm a social psychologist, academic with tenure at Morehouse college. University of Michigan. University of Michigan was grad school professor at Morehouse college.
[24:13] And we established a national training Institute in race and equity. We provide diversity and antibodies. To many different sectors. Okay. So I'm, I'm coming to your question. So we train corporations, public private sectors nonprofits in a lot of police officers. I have personally trained over 50,000 police officers, the entire LA PD, Seattle PD, Philadelphia PD, Phoenix PD.
[24:35] I trained 'em all myself personally, in a lot of small towns all over the country, a significant respect for these officers. Isn't what they do now. Sometimes the pushback in terms of white male officers in part. Because they have the white male and the police thing on top of the white male piece is that yes, they feel they're being judged.
[24:51] They're not appreciated people just assume they're racist cuz they're white male and they're a cop, that sort of thing. So in no spaces, the thing I respect about police, they respond to evidence. I give 'em the evidence I'm saying you're not a bad person, but if over your lifetime, and you think about the TV and movies you've watched, and you've seen 500 associations of positive traits in white people and 50 associations, positive traits of black people and vice versa, 500 negative for black, 50 negative for white, just the exposure alone.
[25:18] Take your character out of it. You don't think your brain is going to associate different traits with different groups. That's how we keep it now to your point about empathy critically important. That is one of our core solutions in our work. We have these exercises where we have our audiences empathize with different groups.
[25:34] So you do an exercise with young black males, and we have a word cloud. When Americans think of young black males, what words or phrases come to mind in a words, pop up on the screen, the top five dangerous criminal thug rapper athlete. And that's all across the country of a hundred thousand people.
[25:49] Everybody gets the same answers, right? And then we asked them, what if that was your personal. What if you gotta go through life day to day, go to the doctor. You going for a job, get pulled by police. And it traits people associated with you are dangerous. Criminal thug, rapper athlete. I'm not judging them.
[26:03] You gotta see what I'm doing there. I'm not judging them. Cuz we ask them a question. They respond it's up on the screen. It's their data. Now I'm saying, okay, what if this applied to you? And the thing is the reason they can give that data is cuz they live in society, have a brain. They don't have to believe it.
[26:14] Folks. Belief is not necessary for implicit bias. All implicit bias requires is exposure. Explicit bias requires belief, explicit bias, blatant racism and sexism. You know, don't live in my neighborhood. Don't date, my kids. I'm not gonna hire you. That is a character issue cuz people know what they're doing.
[26:31] Implicit advice, simply an exposure issue. Living in a society, having a brain, the 200 sec, you have implicit advice. That's your process. So,
[26:38] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: what do we do about it? How do we mitigate limit the negative effects of this, you know, in the interview, in the performance review, in policing and otherwise, what do we do maybe in the interview, for example, or the resume, right?
[26:53] Dr. Bryant Marks: So resume that that's a straightforward one. Take the name off. Why do you need to see somebody's name on a resume to determine their fit for a job? Like what matters do you hire somebody education, experience, qualifications, their. Which they did not give themselves, by the way, how is that in any way relevant their address?
[27:08] Take that off too. You mean to tell me to determine if somebody's a fit for job, you need to know their address down to their apartment number. How is that relevant? So again, either it's neutral or it can cause bias, take it off.
[27:20] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: Yeah. And if you wanna succeed, if your job as a leader or in a hiring role is to hire the best candidate at the end of the year.
[27:26] And I get my performance review and I go meet with my boss and I have to hit certain metrics the best way to do that. Or one of the best ways to do that is to get the best people on my team and to get the best people I wanna remove any implicit biases I may have so that I can look at the facts and the data and the information that will help me.
[27:42] The right person, the best person
[27:44] Dr. Bryant Marks: you want the best people. And so we were told our clients, especially our fortune of our hundred clients don't hide behind. Oh, there's no black or brown people in a pipeline. You couldn't find them. First of all, show me how wide a net you're casting. Cause if you cast a wide net in the United States, America, you're gonna catch some good people.
[27:58] So that whole notion that they don't exist very rarely. Is that the case? Now, if you in, you know, a rural area someplace that's undesirable where they wanna come, maybe not, but do they exist usually? Yes. I mean, if you talk about a very specialized, a neuroscientist with a certain, okay, fine. But for many other occupations, those folks do exist.
[28:17] But I would say
[28:17] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: like, so some people are gonna say, well, the net is the net. Like, you know, we post the job on monster.com or one of these, you know, indeed.com where we go to I'm at the university of Virginia. And, you know, the companies will come and will do like interviews of any student who wants to show up and do sort of like the preliminary interviews. Isn't that a wide enough.
[28:35] Dr. Bryant Marks: No because it doesn't necessarily include intentionality. So say you got indeed Mazda zip recruiter or whatever the case is. People don't tend to advertise on all of them of the four or five that maybe select two or three. What was the basis of that selection? Do you go to indeed LinkedIn, whatever else and say, show me the demographics and your database of the people in this particular industry.
[28:54] And you have 'em show their database and how diverse it is. They have that data. They can tell you how diverse their database is for different sectors. They can tell you that. And then you can decide as an employer, we're gonna go with the. As the most diverse candidates in that category, or you can say when that company's running a promotion, we can get three months and go with a cheap option.
[29:10] That's what happens when I say casting net being intentional about your selection being intentional, like people have employee referral programs. Okay. That's nice. It's cute. But if you're already lacking diversity, if you're homogeneous, the thing is this who do people. They know people who like them who think like them and look like them.
[29:28] So the likelihood, if you're not diverse and people refer their friends, they're not gonna be diverse either. Now, if you are already diverse, that's different. That's great referral programs. Cause people refer to in groups, you're already diverse. You keep it diverse. But yeah, there's notion of casting a wide net.
[29:41] When we train, we do a whole implicit bias mitigation from the interview. I mean, resume review interviews is very detailed, very deep and most folks are not doing all of it. They're covering themselves from a E E C lawsuit. That's what they're doing. They're doing the minimum. So I would say this since George Floyd, many organizations have become a bit more serious.
[30:00] I can push 'em a little more. It doesn't have this check the box, feel all the time. But for some companies I know when they just check in a box, cuz some people are creative. They'll use the name on a resume as a proxy for diversity, they wanna diversify their workforce. So they want the name to be there.
[30:15] So it's a little clue. That's not a hundred percent. My name is Bryant marks. Those European names. You wouldn't know I was black. It can cut either way, but if your organization is serious, you tell HR all the resumes go to HR, HR, you categorize male, female, minority, whatever you can tell us. If it's a minority candidate, I don't need to see the name.
[30:32] Don't even see the address, but I can factor that, that in, because I know in the us certain life circumstances may have them not scoring as high on a certain test, right? Because a science says there's other things that at play. And I could factor that in. So I can still be intentional about diversify my workforce in an equitable. What else could we do?
[30:48] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: systematically that's one example, taking the name off of the resume. Maybe the address off the resume as well. What about the performance reviews or otherwise any other solutions you've proposed?
[30:58] Dr. Bryant Marks: Yeah. So what you wanna do is what we call, uh, blind review. So the notion is whatever you're evaluating, making a decision evaluating, try to remove the basis of bias.
[31:07] So the category, so the name activates a category, Jamal, or a picture or somebody's address it activates black, white, Hispanic, cuz there's different traits associated with them. I
[31:16] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: also wanna mention, we're talking about race, but also like obesity. Like if you have a photograph of an obese person or an older person, or a person who just looks older in a photograph, that's gonna affect you too.
[31:27] So we're talking about race, but also these other
[31:29] Dr. Bryant Marks: things. Yeah. Whatever is a cue for the category. Take the cue away. That's a blinding technique. And so then what do we do? You get a resume, be honest, you get a resume and it'll have you like the year it graduated from college and you find yourself trying to calculate how old they.
[31:43] I mean, it almost happens automatically. And that's the age thing, take the graduation year off. What matters does it matter that they have the degree in this or when they got their degree and now you're calculating age? So the blinding technique can be very powerful. It's often very simple. And the foundation that this, this, when I mentioned implicit bias effect, now we think feel, and behave of those three behave is by far the most important.
[32:03] Why I may never change. Somebody's mind the stereotypes, the traits. I may never change their heart prejudice. Like unliking somebody, but I can regulate behavior as a boss, as a policymaker. I could say we don't do that here. You could think what you want. You could feel what you want, but you're not gonna treat people this certain way.
[32:17] Cause we could see it. We can measure it. That's where you wanna start observable behavior. So if you have these resumes and you see that there's some favoritism and look at the outcome, don't try to interpret intent and feelings. You go to 'em say, look, I don't know how you think or feel, but I know we got some disparities here and we need to close this gap.
[32:34] So blinding yourself. That's one thing. Making people aware just by having implicit bias training, makes people more aware. The thing is when people think of this biased stuff, it's not all egregious and awful, but lawful it's not super bad. Usually in the workplace in particular bias is subtle. It's when you have two options and you choose one option for a certain group of people and another option for another group.
[32:53] And if I called you one and you could justify either one, because both of them are options. That's like cops given a ticket or a. They can do either. They have discretion, but if we find, and this has been shown that women are less likely tickets than men, especially if they are attractive, but most police officers don't keep track of that over time.
[33:08] They think they're fair and impartial, but I could pull the last hundred women last hundred men tickets on a similar circumstances. 30% of women got tickets. 50% of men got tickets, that's bias. But the thing is, if I pulled 81 stop, they can give a ticket to a warning. They can justify either. But when I look at it as a pattern of behavior, that's when a bias shows up, buy shows up in patterns of behavior.
[33:26] It's very difficult to get that thoughts and feelings.
[33:29] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: So for the listener who says, okay, I get it. I believe I have these implicit biases. What is the success through failure? Learning here, like we've failed at this. We don't even know we're failing and we just do. What is actionable for the listener for the individual who maybe they're not in a hiring position or maybe they are, but they wanna learn from this.
[33:48] They wanna find success despite, or maybe even because of failure in this area?
[33:53] Dr. Bryant Marks: I'll do a workplace in that personal example. So say you're a supervisor, say you're a white male and you have a minority person who quits. And that was a really a good person team player competent. And it might happened twice.
[34:03] Let's say so you're having some trouble retaining women. Let's just say women in this. You wanna get the data, go to them and say, look, I know you're leaving, but just help me understand because you know, cuz there's always a push versus a pull. When somebody leaves a job, there's a pull of a new opportunity or gonna be a push from a toxic environment.
[34:19] They don't like it. They can push them out. So as a supervisor, I wanna know what it is. I need to humble myself and say, you know what, you're leaving. Okay. I wanna be better. Help me understand what it was about me or this place that played a role in potentially pushing you out and listen to what they say and make the adjustments.
[34:34] Why? Because they're implicit. You don't even know it's there. So you need the feedback. And one of those strongest forms of protests in the workplace is for somebody to quit . And the thing is the data show. Although many people quit their jobs cuz of what they do, many others quit because of who they do it with.
[34:51] They just can't standard people anymore. So you wanna know if it's the environment or something about you. So if you fail to keep people that are good, if you have a 360 evaluation to get low evaluations from the people that work for you, that sort of thing in your personal life. So you're dating. And a lot of folks who are listening can Correl relate to this.
[35:07] Imagine you're in your twenties and you're engaged to be married, and you're gonna bring your fiance home for the first time to meet your family. But it's an interracial relat. Here's the question for what other group could your fiance come for? Whom your family would be the most accepting? The most supportive.
[35:23] They'd be like, well, not one of us, but you did. All right. Now I need you to think about specific family members and think about why. Why would they be most accepting of somebody from that particular group? I mean, think about deceased, alive grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, think about specific family members and think about why you gotta get to the white part.
[35:43] What reasons would they give? What rationale they provide most accepting. Now let's flip it. What other racial group could your fiance come for? Whom your family would be the least accepted? They have the most objections, the most pushback, uh, you know, not one of us. And you may wanna think this over. I don't know.
[35:57] So think about specific family members. Think about why, why would it be most uncomfortable with somebody from that particular group? Think about the reasons they would give the rationale they would provide. That's gonna give you the context because we did not grow up in a vacuum, regroup our people. We love called our friends and family, and we've been exposed to the jokes and the stereotypes and the prejudice and biases.
[36:17] We've seen them, some of us buy into them, some of us push back, but the notion has we've been exposed. So as a parent, If I fail to expose my children to the diversity that existed in other groups as a parent, am I really doing my job? If I'm creating a culture that says, I mean, you could have preferences, you all have preferences, right?
[36:35] You could have preferences, but is there a negative association to the point where I wouldn't even consider that group, but it's something deficient about them based upon how I was raised to see them. That's different. You can prefer one thing, but you can see another thing as deficient or lacking or negative.
[36:49] So as parents, what example are we. What conversations are we having? Because most of our deepest biases folks, please hear me. most of our deepest biases come from the people we love. And that's just the truth, right? I'm not judging your people. Same thing applies to me. But the is, if you wanna know where your deepest biases come from, you know who you are dating and so forth, rewind the videos of your lives.
[37:10] Go back to your childhood and look in the next room. Most of our deepest biases people, we love
[37:15] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: Dr. Marks, where do people find you follow? You learn more about teachings, et cetera.
[37:22] Dr. Bryant Marks: So we have a national training Institute of race and equity, easiest way, www.national.training. Yes. .training. www.national.training.
[37:32] That's it. You click there, all the information you need to be there. We provide in person and virtual trainings. We mostly virtual at this point. Any sector from healthcare education, social services, corporations, private equity. We do it all. And our approach is one of empathy and humanity, but not guilt, shame and blame.
[37:49] We don't do that. So people will leave our trainings feeling informed, entertained, educated, but not judged. That doesn't happen.
[37:56] Jim Harshaw, Jr.: Fantastic. Thank you for your time. Thank you, sir. Thanks for listening. If you want to apply these principles into your life, let's talk. You can see the limited spaces that are open on my calendar JimHarshawJr.com/apply where you can sign up for a.
[38:14] One time coaching call directly with me and don't forget to grab your action plan. Just go to JimHarshawJr.com/action. And lastly, iTunes tends to suggest podcasts with more ratings and reviews more often. You would totally make my day. If you give me a rating in review, those go a long way in helping me grow the podcast audience.
[38:35] Just open up your podcast app. If you have an iPhone, do a search for success through failure, select it, and then scroll the whole way to the. Where you can leave the podcast, a rating and a review. Now I hope this isn't just another podcast episode for you. I hope you take action on what you learned here today.
[38:53] Good luck and thanks for listening.
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