Removing Exclusionary Bias, Behavior, and Policy Through Psychological Safety

Consider this: We include naturally in childhood and exclude unnaturally in adulthood. Why?

Exclusionary behavior is learned behavior, the result of bias acquired through socialization. That bias may be conscious or unconscious.

Exclusionary policy is the result of bias acquired through socialization, which is then translated and embedded into policies, procedures, structures, systems, and processes.

Over time, exclusionary policy may become normalized in the culture. When new members of an organization encounter embedded exclusionary policy, they often adopt and perpetuate it rather than challenge and change it. Why? Because the carried risk of challenging the status quo puts them personally at risk.

How, then, do you root out exclusionary bias, behavior, and policy?

The answer is simple but not easy: Normalize the practice of challenging the status quo. Model and reward the practice consistently until you significantly reduce the carried risk of engaging in the practice. When you do, you eventually create enough psychological safety to be able to identify and remove exclusionary bias, behavior, and policy based on fair and objective analysis.

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