December 9, 2020

Stereotype Threat and Racial Anxiety, with Sara Taylor

Episode 69:

Sara Taylor earned a master’s degree in Diversity and Organizational Development from the University of Minnesota. She served as a leadership and diversity specialist at the University of Minnesota for five years and as director of diversity and inclusion for Ramsey County, Minnesota for three years.

Sara is the founder and president of deepSEE Consulting and has worked with companies as large as Coca-Cola, General Mills, 3M Company, AARP, and numerous others. She has a new book, “Filter Shift: How Effective People See the World,” that explores how our unconscious is actually making choices and decisions for us, all without our knowing — and how to change that.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Why we often feel discomfort discussing differences that make a difference, and why opening dialog is necessary even if it is uncomfortable
  • How our subconscious minds take in 11 million pieces of information per second, but our conscious minds are only aware of 40 at most
  • What “stereotype threat” is and how it causes us to second-guess our subconscious thoughts, and how it impacts our behaviors
  • How our worries caused by stereotype threat cause us to act differently when navigating challenging situations
  • How our concern about inadvertently stereotyping others can affect our interactions across differences
  • How “racial anxiety” is a specific type of stereotype threat that happens when interacting across racial differences
  • Sara provides examples of stereotype threat and racial anxiety from her own professional experiences
  • What strategies we can employ to reduce racial anxiety, and why it is important to recognize and acknowledge it when it is happening
  • Why more frequent exposure to people who are different from us can help alleviate stereotype threat and racial anxiety
  • Why developing cultural competence can help improve our ability to interact with difference and reduce polarization

Additional resources: