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Contemplating Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Your Organization 

by | Inspired acts of DEIB

So, we’ve all heard tons of reasons why we should be including contemplative practices into our daily routines: better mood, improved memory, enhanced learning, stronger self-esteem, healthier relationships… you name it. There’s plenty of scientific evidence encouraging us to switch off the autopilot and take a step back to unveil our better selves. 

Well, here’s another one, in case you needed it. Contemplative practices are also an efficient way to lower implicit bias and improve engagement in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives.

In recent years, we’ve seen the quick rise of DEI initiatives—and also the strong resistance that followed. Patricia Thompson, in her article for the Harvard Business Review, offers some insights on moving past this resistance. She makes the case that mindfulness can encourage privileged individuals to manage the discomfort of discussing sensitive DEI-related topics. Patricia guided her study participants through coping strategies like deep breathing, stepping back from the immediate thought process, and questioning their perceptions when they felt disengaged. She talked about empathy, avoiding judgments about each other and about themselves, and striving to accept each person’s perceptions as their own truth. The result? DEI-related conversations were more open, genuine, and meaningful.

Additional research, conducted by Adam Lueke and Bryan Gibson from Central Michigan University, has revealed promising findings about the impact of brief mindfulness exercises on implicit bias. Individuals who were exposed to a 10-minute recording, which guided them to observe their thoughts and bodily sensations without judgment, showed a noticeable reduction in implicit bias related to race and age when subsequently assessed with an implicit associations task. This means that a simple, short, and costless intervention can have a relevant impact on one of our society’s biggest challenges. 

These insights highlight that diversity, equity, and inclusion aren’t just about dialoguing with each other—they’re also about reflecting on our inner dialogues. So, there you have it: another compelling reason to start your day with a few minutes of contemplation.



I’m Bathabile

Founded in 2010, Untangled Resolutions provides unparalleled conflict management and dispute resolution services and leadership performance coaching services to individuals, and organizations. Untangled Resolutions specializes in enhancing the quality of human connections.