How Implicit Bias Impacts Intercultural Interprofessional Relationships

By: Tanya Greathouse   Lori Darnel   Consuelo Elizabeth Mendez-Shannon   Dr. Dawn Matera Bassett  

Working across differences in organizations, requires one to have awareness of implicit biases and to understand the impact these biases have intercultural interprofessional interactions. Awareness of these biases promotes multicultural discourse of how race, ethnicity and class can impact relationships. This can be particularly challenging for professionals working on intercultural, interprofessional teams within organizations. Engaging in multicultural conversations while reflecting on implicit biases informed by identities tied to privilege and oppression can feel threatening for all individuals (Boyd, 2008). Implicit bias is the bias in judgment and/or behavior that results from subtle cognitive processes that operate at a level below conscious awareness and without intentional control (Dovidio et al., 2002). Implicit biases inform how we interpret interactions, and if un-processed, they can lead to feelings of guilt and micro-aggressions, potentially impacting interactions in a negative way and negating a sense of belonging. To “rise above the glibness and the sometimes justified accusations of platitudinous ‘political correctness’? For history’s sake, we need to address the gross demographics, but also today, a lot more.” We must recognize our implicit biases and according to Lum (1999), “cultural competency includes acceptance of and respect for cultural differences, analysis of one’s own cultural identity and biases, awareness of the dynamics of difference in ethnic knowledge, research and resources to work with clients” (p. 29). When cultivating inclusivity, it is imperative for everyone to develop their capacity to recognize the impact that implicit biases have on intercultural relationships, especially when navigating diversity, privilege and oppression.

Intercultural Relations Multiculturalism
Identity and Belonging
Workshop Presentation

Tanya Greathouse

Metropolitan State University of Denver

Lori Darnel

Metropolitan State University of Denver

Consuelo Elizabeth Mendez-Shannon

Project Director for Hispanic/Latinx Affairs, Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Iowa State University, United States
United States

Dr. Dawn Matera Bassett

Metropolitan State University of Denver