Even in today’s changing workplace stereotyping still exists. If the situation escalates, then it can be detrimental to the bottom line of any organization.
Breaking down, recognizing and eliminating stereotypes begins with a dialogue. Conversation reduces bias because we learn more about each other and reach an understanding. Conversation reduces biases by educating us on misinformation and it restricts the spread of prejudices.
Imagine, if every single one of us eliminated one stereotype from our consciousness, it would not continue to be perpetuated and would eventually vanish.
Here are several tips you can take to identify and eliminate your own stereotypes:
- Respect and appreciate others’ differences. Imagine if people looked and acted the same. Boring!
- View people the way you would view flowers in a garden. Each individual is different, unique, yet at the same time and in many ways, quite like.
- Avoid making assumptions or creating labels based on superficial traits, like skin or hair color. Somebody who looks like an immigrant to you may actually come from a family that been here longer than yours.
- Reject negative labels (yours and others) and make it a point to pro-actively encourage others to do the same.
- Educate yourself and others. There is plenty of information available on the internet. Or just ask the person. Remember, many people love to talk about themselves. But make sure to be respectful and non-judgmental when you inquire.