Hi Marilyn O’Hearne here with Weekly Wisdom with Dr. Evelyn Hill at the Bruce Watkins Cultural Center in Kansas City, talking about how to unlock all potential, by breaking free from bias, which is a potential blocker, in order to increase prosperity and peace. So Dr. Evelyn what do you say about that?

EH: Well first of all thank you Marilyn I’m so excited to be here with you this morning. We have a great opportunity to blast through bias. Bias often hinders our goals, holding us back from reaching our potential. Anything that we can blast through to help us move forward with our potential is a good.

MOH: Absolutely. And I know that we all have stories about how bias can block potential and how to break free. And so in your time as a community leader what would you say might be an example? 

EH: One thing in particular is when we have a bias sometimes we’re not even aware of it at the time it shows its ugly head. If we would begin to step back and take a look and say “OK I probably have some bias in this area and I need to make some changes”. And so one of the best things to do once you recognize that in yourself is to be able to blast through it and say “OK I’m not going to let that hinder this relationship, this time, this period. I’m going to move forward and allow myself to engage in a conversation that is forthcoming and able to help that organization.

MOH: Yes thank you. And I know that you and I as colleagues and friends have been able to help each other to identify bias and even say, “That sounds a little biased to me. Let’s check that out,” to provide accountability. Because we all have unconscious bias. It’s really stopping to look at where we might be biased. And there are some assessments and tools on how to do that. And then, how do we manage it within ourselves and the organizations and the communities that we serve.

EH: I have been the President of the Board of Education in Kansas City, Kansas a couple years ago and I realize that I did have bias in this particular area. And it was such a rude awakening! But I immediately addressed that. I took care of my internal issues and began to explore areas within me that I could say, “OK I have got to blast this. I have got to move forward because our children are at stake.” Yes. And so we were able to get through that and move forward and good things came from it.

MOH: Yes that’s fabulous. That’s a great example because it’s not only about our own potential, it can get in the way of our organizations if we are not aware of it and we’re communicating unconsciously that bias and behaving in a biased way. And then also like you said it impacts the communities and the organizations that we serve and our clients. It is helpful to remember our vision and the impact, including financial, of not addressing bias.* So thanks so much for joining me this morning to explore how to unlock all potential through breaking free from bias.

EH: My pleasure.

PS Go to Breaking Free from Bias for a free toolkit with an exercise on how to identify and manage your bias plus a book chapter

PSS Join Dr. Evelyn for her Shades In Justice podcast as she explores challenges and potential solutions with her guests

PSSS Read more about the link between bias and cultural intelligence and why it matters to you and your organization

*”The cost of the rehiring process in the US alone, due to talent leaving companies on the grounds of diversity and inclusion concerns, is now surpassing $US64b, and this does not even account for the costs involved in legal proceedings and payouts for discriminatory behaviour. In the UK it is estimated that the cost of discrimination is £40b, with personal wellbeing impacts adding another £12b, ” Erfan Daliri, “The Cost of Unconscious Bias”

To our full potential, prosperity and peace through breaking free from bias to unlock all potential!

Marilyn O’Hearne, MSW, MCC, LLC
CQ Master Certified Coach, International Coach Federation. Team, Leadership & Mentor Coaching; Coaching Supervision




First published August 8, 2018 and updated