Unconscious Incompetence

Building more vibrant and intention partnerships across perceived difference helps interrupt unconscious bias

Like fish in water, many well-intentioned leaders do not see the water (white male culture) they swim in. So their unconscious incompetence (I don’t know what I don’t know) does not come from a lack of intelligence or bad intention. It comes from I’m unaware about much of what influences and guides how I make decisions and take action. So leaders end up thinking that everybody is just like them. That their actions and decisions are unbiased. Only when leaders fully see the water they swim in, do they realize they have culture with inherent privileges. And that this culture impacts and influences how they lead. We help courageous leaders see these conditions and liberate their ability to treat people as they want to be treated. As a result, they begin to lead more inclusively and effectively.

UNCONSCIOUS BIAS                                 Scientists estimate that we have conscious access to only 2% of our brain’s emotional and cognitive process. Neuroscientists have also determined that we process 11 million bits of information at a time, but have the capacity only to be aware at best of 40 bits. In other words, the vast majority of our behavior is dictated by the 98% of our brain that works without our express cognition. –”Implicit Bias Insights as Preconditions to Structural Change,” by John A. Powell & Rachel Godsil READ MORE Sept/Oct 2011 issue of Poverty & Race
Consciousness Quadrants Model

Unconscious Bias & The Status Quo
By Bill Proudman

Unconscious or implicit bias has largely been seen as a negative, something we don’t want to have and certainly don’t want to admit to. Unconscious bias however is something that everyone has. Not some, everyone.

Learning to recognize our unconscious bias is a pivotal step in interrupting the invisible patterns of status quo behavior ––exhibited by those in the dominant or normative group. The negative impact of this “only way” behavior weighs heavily on members of non–dominant groups ––women, people of color, GLBT, introverts, non-Christians, early career or late career, those people with higher body fat content, and on and on.