“Increasing Employee Productivity and Performance: Being Aware of Unconscious Bias”, November 7-8 (EIPA, Maastricht)

Executives and specialists in both the public and private sector have many competing priorities to cope with in times of ongoing crisis and shaping the future world of work (‘New Work’).

As leaders, we are all concerned with people, but most of us know more about how our own computer works than the most powerful ‘computer’ in the world that resides inside us. Top leaders invest in people and help organisations accelerate development and performance. Both the public sector and other organisations need inspiring or transformational leadership to contribute to the value and effectiveness of the organisation in general.

To do this, inspiring leaders – those who have evolved, mastered themselves and have a clear strategy to promote staff – transform their people in terms of mindset and thinking, the work environment and culture. Anything less than this means being overtaken by those organisations and companies with highly engaged employees and leadership.

It is not always easy to convey a message and convince people of our ideas and position if they come from the same background. But the challenge is even greater when they have different values and beliefs, organise their work in alternative ways, communicate and listen differently. Diversity needs to be managed well to attract new talent, give them challenging tasks, and the opportunity to learn and improve their skills. Effects of unconscious biases, especially in recruiting and talent management, can threaten business success as high potential is identified less often. Diversity in the context of New Work is seen as the key to success in the future.

The skills and competences required of public servants evolve along with the changes in society and technology. Substantive knowledge in specific policy areas will continue to be the building blocks of public service capability. Yet traditional skills and competences, such as policy analysis and service design, are complemented and transformed by emerging technical skills related to digital, data and innovation. In addition, transversal behavioural and analytical competences will play an important role in how public service workforces are equipped to handle policy challenges. Cognitive, social and emotional skills, such as the ability to learn, and adapt and manage ambiguity, will become increasingly important in all public service professions.

What will you learn:

You make decisions every day. Most of them are made by the subconscious mind or are involved in it. Without realising it, you may encounter prejudices. Our brain helps us to assess situations quickly to make resource-saving decisions. These abbreviations of the brain offer benefits, but can also lead to misjudgements and wrong decisions, and even discrimination.

This programme will help you to understand how the achievement of objectives and thus the success of the organisation is influenced by behaviour, personality, and methods of communication, experience and culture. It gives concrete advice on how to think about our own behaviour and how to understand that of our counterparts to improve communication skills, especially in the context of interactions within a diverse and multicultural environment. The techniques analysed will deal with general and specific principles on bias parameters related to processes, methodology, strategic thinking and communication, and decision-making. Cultural differences in these areas will be emphasised during the training.

To influence a communication and negotiation process with integrity, we must first reflect on our own behaviour in interpersonal, diverse and intercultural relationships.

Learn more here.