Everyone is talking about racism, social justice, and systemic bias… As coaches, we are holding space for people to explore transformation so they can step into their highest and best self to achieve their goals.
Yet, with the discussion of racism, bias, business, the conversations can get complicated fast, leaving coaches everywhere (along with everyone else) confused, and often at a loss for what to do next.
The purpose of this short training is to start a discussion about how Unconscious Bias affects Coaches, specifically, and to address ideas on how to proceed forward.
This training is from the perspective of a white woman, and I recognize that… so we have decided to include more resources from other experts in the space to give more perspectives to help you to draw your own conclusions and take the actions accordingly.
I don’t know what it’s like to be Black, because I’m not.
I do know what it’s like to be a professional woman, and not see many professional women in higher ranking positions on my career path, and that is what led me to join a Diversity & Inclusion conversation years ago that led to facilitating trainings for thousands of professionals at a large corporation who was committed to improving outcomes for minorities and women.
Over the years, after belonging to several efforts around the Diversity & Inclusion agenda professionally, I have had the opportunity to learn more about “Unconscious Bias” and how it affects our day-to-day work environments.
There’s a lot we can take away from a better understanding of Unconscious Bias, and specifically how it shows up for coaches running a coaching business.
There are deep experts on the topics of Inclusion & Diversity, Anti-Racism, and other related topics, so by no means is this short training meant to be comprehensive.
Some additional resources to consider include:
There are more resources available as well.
Ultimately Chris & I want to see more coaches successful in working with people everywhere to achieve their goals and transformations to lead empowered successful lives.
We support any coach who is working to raise consciousness and help lift up communities, through patience, education, and love.
Transcript of Vlog - June 6, 2020
Have you ever thought about the relationship between your role as a leader and a CEO and a coach? It's a topic that's come up a lot in the last while as we have navigated through the black lives matter movement. Resurgence that's happened in the last couple of weeks. My name is Amanda Kaufman, and I am a coach and I am a CEO of a business.
And I have a community that I serve. So when the world turned its attention to black lives matter and the murder of George Floyd and all of the conversations that have been happening in the United States and abroad about racism and about discrimination and about the pain. That's so many members of our community and people around the world have experienced because of racism. My first reaction was silence.
That was my first reaction. I was taking everything in. I was processing everything that was happening, and I have a bit of an advantage in this situation that I wanted to make sure I shared with you. And that is, I have had a little bit of exposure to the idea of unconscious bias. So wanted to take a few minutes, make this a really short,
practical training for CEOs of coaching businesses, to understand how unconscious bias can show up and what to do about it. Now, this is not going to be comprehensive. I don't work in diversity and inclusion full time as a vocation or anything like that. The reason that I wanted to talk about this is not just because black lives matter and they do. It's not complicated.
They do matter. It's because there's so much misunderstanding around the ideas of unconscious bias and biases. And I want to address some myths with you today. So let's hop in to this training and stick around to the end at, um, at the end, I'm going to share with you some next steps, some things to consider as a CEO of a coaching business specifically.
And if you find this helpful, be a friend and go ahead and share it. Um, I'm also gonna make sure that I have some additional resources from people who are far more expert in this area than I am, uh, for your reference. And you can access that around this video as well. So let's hop to it. Um, let's see about unconscious bias in coaching.
So why, why I wanted to do this presentation is because I have had, um, the blessing of be able to receive a lot of this training myself in my career, but also to deliver a lot of this training. I used to work for a really big consulting firm and they recognized that unconscious was leading to a lot of people, not advancing,
not progressing in the organization the way they wanted them to. So they rolled out an initiative that I was a part of that was designed to address the, the lack of education that most of us had around unconscious bias. And along the way, I learned some really important things. Now, by the way, if you happen to be watching this on subtitle,
you might get a little more out of it. If you were to listen with your sound on, and really, as we get into this bias conversation, there are a few key myths that I wanted to make sure we get out of the way right away. The first one is that you're not biased. I remember when I first started to learn about bias and unconscious bias,
I did it, you know, I am obviously white. Um, I don't pretend to have a complete understanding of what people who have, uh, that are black or that are indigenous and what their experience is because I'm don't have that experience. Obviously I don't have that experience. What I do have is the experience of being a woman in corporate America,
looking forward at senior levels of my, uh, career path and seeing that there weren't very many women compared to men. And I saw that at the entry level, it was almost 50 50 between men and women. And that's what originally motivated me to look into diversity and inclusion in a very serious way, because honestly, I didn't see very many role models,
so I don't know what it's like to be black. I do know what it's like to not see people who look like me ahead of me in life. Right? And so one of the first things, when it came to understanding the role of unconscious bias and diversity and inclusion, and having intentionality about creating an environment where people have a success path, they can see mentors that are,
have been successful before them. And that whole initiative started with realizing that I also had bias. So again, speaking more from a gender bias, kind of a perspective, because that's the perspective that I have. I'm mistakenly believed that because I was female, the bias I was experiencing was only for men. And what I realized is bias affects all of us.
It turns out that women also don't necessarily believe that women should be successful. So if that is true and there's resources around this video that take you way deeper into the house and the wise, the basic thing is, is that our brain receives programming from, you know, very early stage all the way through our life and the way our brain is wired.
We look for patterns and we look for confirmation of those patterns. We all have bias. It doesn't matter what your skin tone is. It doesn't matter your religion. It doesn't matter your age. It doesn't matter how woke you are. You have bias because we all have bias. So the first thing is to just own that you have perspectives that have been shaped by your environment.
It's not about being but good or bad or evil or anything like that. It's about recognizing that we all have things that have shaped how we view the world, which takes me to miss number two, I've been trained not to judge. So I know in, especially the coaching world, we are trained in this idea of release of judgment and to be open to a wide variety of perspectives.
Sometimes this can sound like, well, I don't judge anymore. I've been trained not to judge. Now you may have more awareness of how judgment can impair the number of, um, number of options that are available to you. And I'm going to let you know that your brain is so your brain, right? Most of what goes on in your mental processing is not even conscious to you.
And so those judgments are happening all the time. Even if you're not consciously aware of those judgments, you may have a really strong practice around releasing judgment, but I want you to know that your wiring is such, that you do make snap decisions and snap judgments that are so fast. You're not even aware that they're even happening. So if we can just recognize that it's impossible to have a functioning human brain without also having the functioning process of making snap decisions and snap judgments.
It really frees us to have forgiveness for when we do make judgements that maybe our conscious and highest self wouldn't be proud of. If we can recognize that it's just the way our brain is wired and we can retrain our brain to make different judgments in the future. If we become aware of them by saying, I don't have judgments, I've been trained not to judge.
What we're doing is denying the basic workings of our brain. And we're not allowing for new information to come in and inform and raise our consciousness ultimately. So there's a big idea. It's something that I've certainly heard a lot in coaching circles and, and especially through the back black lives matter. A lot of the discourses as a myth I've heard over and over again,
that's specific to coaches in the coaching industry. And I just want you to be aware of it. The third big myth is on just a coach or the actions of one person doesn't really, or maybe you're just starting out and you don't have a big list, or you don't have a big social media following. And I just want you to know that just by pursuing a career that is focused on having a better life,
that's focused on achieving transformation. People do look to you as a role model like it or not. And even if you've never started your coaching business just yet, I want to remind you of the family members, the friends, the other relationships that you have, maybe not in a formal coaching capacity, they are looking at each other, and that includes you for how to model their behavior.
And so there is a responsibility. I feel very strongly about this. There is a responsibility that we have to own our influence and own that because we've chosen a path of personal development and of growth. It's not that you're just a coach. You, your leadership starts with self leadership. And just by the way you behave just by the actions you take and the actions you don't take,
people observe these actions and they model their behavior after your actions. So I know that a lot of the coaching, uh, if you look at like the ICF definition of coaching, we talk about not injecting ourselves into the agenda of our client. Yet the client is still implicitly going to see how you're behaving and how you're responding outside of the specific coaching context.
So if you're feeling like I'm, I, I'm not really a part of their story, the truth is you really, really are. And the actions of one really do matter. Um, one, one little quick story on this. I had that feeling like I'm just a coach, I'm just one person in this community. How can it possibly matter?
And I made a comment in a Facebook, um, group where, um, there were a lot of other business owners and I was talking about the social responsibility of talking about black lives matter in the context of our coaching businesses. And at first I was met with, that's not the place we shouldn't talk about this, this, you know, that's,
that's not right. And I kind of wrestled with it. And I said to myself, maybe I should not do this, this isn't my group. Maybe I shouldn't reply. And I chose to reply. And my simple reply was that, you know, business is about relationships, right? It's, it's about the relationship between the business and the customers and the relationship between the business and the potential customers in the communities and,
and all of those things. And that business absolutely has a lot to do with how we treat each other and the social justice that goes with that. And what really surprised me is how the, the conversation actually changed because I chose to say one more thing, right? So never underestimate the power of having that conversation, being brave and standing in the truth of your,
uh, of your conviction around equality, around the fair treatment of people. So those are some of the key things. Now, why is this so important? Why am I doing this little training for you today? Most of our audience are CEOs of coaching businesses and expert businesses. And so as such, you are developing your own in your business policies and procedures that affect people,
right? So think about how do you engage and interact? How inclusive is your language, how inclusive is your branding? How, how do you moderate your communities to make sure that it is safe for respectful dialogue? How do you make sure that you're available to all of your community members, regardless of their, their gender or their race or their, you see where I'm headed with this,
right? Where can you see opportunities to remove systemic bias from how you're doing your business as a coach? And it may be just communicating a little bit extra about the fair treatment of people of color. Maybe it's communicating a little bit extra in this really challenging time about your stance on making sure that people are receiving your services fairly and safely. And just making sure that it's clear that you won't stand for racist behavior and you don't have tolerance for it.
It's, it's those CEO kinds of decisions about how you're going to show up and notice that none of that has to do with a judgment of someone else. It doesn't have anything to do with calling out a behavior of someone else. What it is is it's owning the behavior that you have as the CEO and taking a really firm stance on that for the benefit of you,
your business, your clients, your community, and how you're going to conduct yourself, knowing that bias is going to show up no matter what you do, right? Because you have your perspectives that have been shaped over the course of your entire lifetime. So how do we address bias? Well, the main thing is to educate. So I do sincerely hope that this helps this conversation helps about the role that you have.
And I sincerely hope that you are able to take some of the resources we're sharing with you around this video, around anti-racism around unconscious bias and around the, that are happening in this country and around the world, and really internalize and think about how does this map to my own values as a coach and as a CEO, how do I want to make sure that I'm representing myself and my business,
according to supporting the values of my community, of my customers and what can I do to make sure that they feel safe, that everyone is feeling heard, that everyone is receiving the education around the systemic bias that we have all endured, that has led to the challenges that we are facing today. So I hope that you found this helpful wherever you found this video,
there will be a link available to take you some to some additional resources. And if this was helpful, full, feel free to share it with anyone that you like, feel free to engage in respectful discourse about it, um, below. And we can't wait to see you out there and continue to serve. Let's get out there and change the world.