All people have inherent tendencies that influence their approach to work, the way they learn best and their preferred patterns for thinking and behaving. While there’s nothing wrong with innate inclinations, it’s important to be mindful of whether these leanings become a bias – or an unfair favoritism for a particular style or approach.
Bias can show up in many spheres of life, and training is one of them. As a facilitator, it’s important to connect with program participants in a way that honors the different perspectives in the room and respects multiple learning styles. Doing so builds trust with attendees. Taking a holistic approach also ensures that learners have the best possible chance of retaining and utilizing the information that the trainer imparts.
It’s especially important to remain neutral in Emergenetics® trainings. If participants catch on to any partiality toward certain Profile types, they may internalize those perceptions, which can affect how they feel about their results and the preferences of others. Associates should aim to demonstrate that all Thinking and Behavioral Attributes have equal value to avoid misunderstandings about the importance of cognitive diversity.
To engage trainees, I invite Emergenetics Associates to show up as Quadrimodal, 2-2-2’s when facilitating learning experiences. That way, every style gets the positive affirmation it deserves.
How To: Mitigate Training Bias
1. Evaluate Assumptions
Facilitators may not realize that they have predispositions if they do not carefully assess their presuppositions. Trainers can begin to analyze their preconceived notions by reflecting on circumstances when they debriefed or worked with people with multiple Profile types. Was there excitement, apprehension or concern about any preference(s)? How many positive words easily come to mind when considering each Attribute?
This exploration can shine a light on where any positive or negative biases exist. To counter these stereotypes, use Brainwork Made Easy (log into Emergenetics+ and then access it here) or our egLearning Library course, Cultivating Culture through the Language of Grace, to articulate the benefits of all approaches.
2. Create Inclusive Content
One of the reasons that the Meeting of the Minds has been so successful is that it is designed to engage all Thinking and Behavioral perspectives. Associates can use this workshop as inspiration for any training that they are building and conducting. Carefully aligning programming to meet the needs of each preference will increase engagement and learning retention.
For tips to develop engaging content for varying learning styles, read a helpful blog from my colleague.
3. Celebrate the Attributes with Stories
Use affirming language when describing each Profile type to create positive associations about every preference. Identify instances in the workplace or personal examples where different Attributes showed up as assets and celebrate the insights as well as a-ha moments that came from diverse perspectives.
Building a repertoire of stories can take time. In addition to thinking about past experiences, I invite Associates to log into Emergenetics+ and download our resource Deliver a Meaningful Profile Debrief. The language included can inspire more examples.
4. Avoid Sarcasm
I know this tip can be a test for those who love this sort of humor. That said, when learners are new to any subject matter, there is a higher likelihood that jokes will be misinterpreted. Additionally, Social thinkers tend to dislike sarcasm, so this approach can disengage a portion of your participant base.
Instead, be clear and kind during training. Explain each Attribute with clarity and positivity, setting comedy aside early on in participant learning journeys.
5. Stay Away from Hierarchical Words
When describing the Attributes, terms like “more” or “less” may create negative perceptions around the distinct Profile types. Build up vocabulary so that preferences are described with terminology that does not imply a hierarchy.
Practice using language like first-, second- and third-third to describe the Behaviors and discover new ways to illustrate the Thinking styles using our resource Deliver a Meaningful Profile Debrief.
6. Wait to Share the Facilitator’s Profile
We recommend that Associates delay sharing their personal preferences or Profile report until the end of a workshop or debrief, so the focus remains on the participants. Additionally, it prevents attendees from associating their instructor’s habits with a particular style.
At the end, ask trainees what they think the facilitator’s Profile is. You’ve mitigated bias if the responses reference each Thinking Attribute and a spectrum of Behavioral styles. If not, look at it as a learning opportunity and reflect on the experience to see how to create a balance in the future.
7. Ask for Input
Feedback can be used to assess how well bias is being managed during a training. Ask attendees about their experience and specifically inquire about their perceptions of the Attributes as well as the Associate’s delivery after a workshop.
Review the feedback from surveys to uncover whether any preference received too much or too little positive or negative attention. Then, assess how the next session could be improved.
Facilitators have so much power to unlock new insights for others. It all starts by ensuring that the subject matter is seen in an affirming, motivating light. By reducing opportunities for bias to creep in, every Associate can maximize learning and inspire attendees to become champions of cognitive diversity.
Interested in finding out more about how Emergenetics can enhance workforce development? Explore our website or fill out the form below for more insights!
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