Overcoming Bias: Building Authentic Relationships Across Differences

  • 1h 47m
  • Matthew Freeman, Tiffany Jana
  • Berrett-Koehler Publishers
  • 2016

Everybody's biased—even nice people like you. We all harbor unconscious assumptions about those who are different from us that get in the way of our good intentions and keep us from working together harmoniously and effectively. So in an increasingly diverse and globalized world, what does respecting difference actually require?

Tiffany Jana and Matthew Freeman argue that we need to focus our energy on identifying our deeply personal points of privilege and preference. Becoming aware of these hidden biases and learning how they arise from our histories and cloud our perceptions enables us to make genuine connections with others who aren't like us. And only by forging authentic relationships across differences such as race, religion, sex, ethnicity, sexual orientation, education, socioeconomic class, and ability will we ultimately break down social barriers and, in the process, greatly enrich our lives. Jana and Freeman are also a biracial couple, so they have some pretty deep experience with this issue.

Overcoming Bias uses vivid stories and fun (yes, fun!) exercises and activities to help us challenge our presuppositions and become open to encountering people, cultures, and ideas outside our usual comfort zone. This book will provide you with everything you need to understand bias, talk about it with increased fluency, and control and conquer it. In the end, Jana and Freeman's central message is that you are not the problem—but you are the solution.

About the Authors

Tiffany Jana and Matthew Freeman are agents of change who met at work, fell in love, and started a company together. They are each one half of an interracial couple that pride themselves on practicing racial reconciliation every day. As a white male / black female married couple, they represent one of the least statistically common marital racial pairings in the United States. They are aware of that fact because the company they co-founded focuses on diversity and inclusion, and together they are breaking ground in the development of metrics for their industry. They live and breathe diversity and are conspicuously joyous about the life they share.

In this Book

  • Preface
  • Introduction—Why Is Everybody Biased But Me?
  • Chapter 1: What is Bias and Why Does it Matter?
  • Chapter 2: Start With You
  • Chapter 3: In-Groups and Out-Groups
  • Chapter 4: Check Your Privilege (And Your Ego)
  • Chapter 5: Scan to Expand
  • Chapter 6: Ask, Don’t Assume
  • Chapter 7: Listen, Don’t Judge
  • Conclusion
  • Activity Guide
  • Notes