Online Correspondence: California 2-Hour Implicit Bias Training


Everyone seems to be talking about implicit bias and diversity. Implicit bias is the attitudes or stereotypes that affect an individual’s understanding, actions, and decisions in an unconscious manner. Businesses offer training on it, politicians support it, the media extols it. But what exactly is implicit bias and diversity? Unfortunately, some real estate agents let their biases get in the way of working with people from diverse cultures. However, successful licensees realize that working with people from diverse cultural backgrounds creates an opportunity for business and possibly personal relationships.

Biases, preferences, attitudes, stereotypes, and prejudices are all examples of psychological constructs. Psychological constructs are mental associations that can influence a person's behavior and feelings toward an individual or group. If the person is unaware of these mental associations, the biases, preferences, attitudes, stereotypes, or prejudices are said to be implicit.

Having biases or preconceived feelings is normal human behavior. Everyone has biases of one kind or another. It’s okay to have different likes and dislikes. Biases are harmless as long as they are about unimportant things, like preferring Pepsi over Coke (or vice-versa for you Coke lovers). But when we hold prejudices against other people, and then act on those prejudices in an illegal discriminatory way, we create all kinds of problems.