The ‘Self-Check Technique’ for Revealing Unconscious Bias

Access this 9-minute training video today and lower the odds that your organization will face a discrimination lawsuit. You’ll learn:

  • The four types of bias profiles that apply to all managers
  • Why unconscious biases cause far more legal problems than do conscious biases
  • How managers could unwittingly put you at risk for a discrimination lawsuit
  • A simple technique to keep unconscious biases in check

Why are we giving you access to this program for free? Because it’s the best way we know to introduce you to a new approach to employment law compliance training.

Here’s how it works: Request your guide to preventing discrimination now and we’ll email you a user name and password that gives you instant access to the Employment Law Compliance & Human Resources Rapid Learning Centers. There you’ll find the Discrimination Prevention video and a collection of other training resources for managers and supervisors. You’ll have unlimited trial access to this powerful library of e-learning modules, reports and fast-read articles.

More information for those who love the details…

Discrimination lawsuits have gone up 268% over the past 15 years. That rate of increase is nine times greater than any other type of employee lawsuit. Make sure your managers don’t add to these stats.

In reviewing most employment law cases filed in a given year and we find that there’s one thing – unconscious bias on the part of managers – that provokes more lawsuits than anything else.

Nobody likes to admit it, but we all have unconscious biases, at least to some degree. And it’s not uncommon for some managers and supervisors to act on these biases, thinking for example that elderly people can’t learn new things.

In this video, you’ll learn how such unconscious bias can lead managers to poor decisions. Plus, you’ll find out how using the “Self-Check Technique,” managers can prevent unconscious discrimination and avoid costly, disruptive lawsuits.

Four bias profiles

All managers and supervisors fit one of four bias profiles.

  1. Some are aware of their biases and go right ahead and act upon them. They wouldn’t think twice about, say, denying jobs to qualified minorities or excluding women from promotion opportunities. Managers like this usually aren’t around very long because their attitudes and behaviors are unethical, illegal and dangerous to organizations that employ them.
  2. Others know what their biases are and hold them in check. They do whatever it takes to make sure their biases don’t influence their decisions and provoke lawsuits.
  3. Others have unconscious biases but they don’t act on them. They might not even be aware that they favor people like them. However in the workplace, they play by the rules, so their biases don’t get them into trouble.
  4. Final, managers and supervisors who are both oblivious to their biases and unconsciously act on them are both hard to spot and potential powder kegs. They’re a lawsuit waiting to happen. Unfortunately, there are lots and lots of them out there.

The “Self-Check Technique”

The Self-Check Technique is a way to help your managers: 1) revisit their conscious biases and make sure they’re not influencing behavior; and 2) uncover unconscious biases. Let’s lay out a roadmap for how it works.

Before they make a decision that concerns an employee, your managers must learn to ask themselves four questions:

  • Will this decision adversely affect the employee?
  • Is the employee in a protected class?
  • What potential biases, conscious or unconscious, could affect my judgment (e.g., gender, disability, race, age, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, maybe something else)?
  • Finally, “Am I doing this for the right reasons, or is one of my biases influencing this decision?”

Check out The ‘Self-Check Technique’ for Revealing Unconscious Bias and discover a framework to help your managers navigate this process.

A false assumption or bias against blind people?
Here’s a prime example of unconscious bias at work. In Alton v. Echostar, a hiring manager interviews a blind man for a customer service job. The recruit assures the manager that he’s proficient in a “text-to-speech” software program and can do the job. The manager can’t imagine how a blind man can “read” a computer screen. He initially rejects the applicant but ends up inviting him back for a series of tests designed for sighted people, which the applicant fails.

The man sued, went to court and won $8 million. The jury asked the judge if they could give him $30 million.

Did this manager have a conscious bias against blind people? Probably not. At an unconscious level, he may simply have thought that disabled people are high-maintenance, not realizing that today the disabled have remarkable tools that allow them to function normally. If he’d done a Self-Check, he might have said, “Okay, I’m uncomfortable with this situation, but let me check out the text-to-speech software and see whether this guy can really do the job.”

If he’d done that, he’d have learned before the lawsuit what he learned in the courtroom, where the blind man demonstrated to the jury that he could process 400-700 wpm, more than most sighted people.

An overview of what your managers will learn from The Manager’s Guide to Preventing Discrimination Lawsuits

First, every manager has biases.

Second, responsible managers are aware that they have both conscious and unconscious biases, and they learn to conduct the four-question “Self-Check” before taking any adverse action against a job candidate or employee.

Finally, remember that your company’s policy manual is your friend. There’s no better protection in court than being able to say, “In taking action against that employee, I followed policies and procedures to the letter.”

Your managers were promoted because somebody thought they had good judgment, technical skills, and higher-than-average emotional intelligence. But are your managers self-aware of their biases? By using the “Self-Check Technique”, they can avoid making a decision that could adversely affect an employee or potential employee and dodge embarrassment, trouble and cost for both them and the company.

Make sure your managers know how to avoid unconscious bias. Access The ‘Self-Check Technique’ for Revealing Unconscious Bias today.


Steve Meyer
Stephen Meyer
CEO, Rapid Learning Institute


Request a Free Demo

We'd love to show you how this industry-leading training system can help you develop your team. Please fill out this quick form or give us a call at 877-792-2172 to schedule your one-on-one demo with a Rapid Learning Specialist.