SPEAKER: Good afternoon, everyone.
AUDIENCE: Good afternoon.
SPEAKER: Thank you all for being here. This is the Inclusive Excellence Academy. The session today is "Proactively Addressing Bias and Microinequities in the Workplace. So without further ado, I'd like to turn it over to our presenter some of you are familiar with, Mr. Ernest Hicks. He's going to provide us with great information today. And so Mr. Hicks, over to you today.
ERNEST HICKS: That's a set up.
A lot of things is linguistics. So I try in my conversations not use words where I hope that you will get something. Because "hope" is a word of non-action. It is 50% probability that you will get what you want and a 50% probability that you won't. So I like to use a word that moves us in one direction. And that is I anticipate.
So I anticipate you getting out of a lot of different tools and things that will help bring about change not just for you, but personally in your organizations that you're a part of.
And if we are to expect and to receive change, we have to become the change agent. You don't have to trust me, but believe me.
If you've been with me before, you know what this is about. Maybe not. But it does tie even further in today's conversation and what we're talking about in microinequities. There is something also called micro-affirmations. And this is part of what-- you back for a third dose? Woo. I've recognize-- I'm going, obviously I know her. I've seen her before. This is the third time. She's not coming back for this again.
But each time, it's always different because I don't know exactly what I'm going to say. She's got a [INAUDIBLE]. She say, don't be giving me one of those because I don't know what it's about. OK. Just because you do, then it's like, ooh, dont' raise-- don't call on me.
At the end of today's session, there will be an exercise that the holder of the potato at that time I will have come front. So here's what I want you to do meanwhile.
I have entrusted something very valuable to you. Those are like spuds. They're under development and your care. What I would like for you to do, if somebody that you know, that you work with, or even someone that you just recently met, but they've assisted you in a project or something that made your job easy or something that you would like to thank them for, write them a thank you note, or whatever expression of appreciation that you want.
Any time during today's session, it is OK-- I give you permission-- to stand up, or pass around. Get that to the person that you want to give it to. That person now also have the option of writing a note to someone else that they know. And you can write on them. A ballpoint pen will write. You can ask the people that was in the last session. It works.
At the end of today's session, if you're one of the individuals that have the potato, I will bring you down front for the last two parts of just that piece today. Is that fair?
AUDIENCE: So we just write the message on the potato?
ERNEST HICKS: You write on the skin. And then you can pass it on to someone. Give it to that person. Then, they can write a letter or note to someone else. And they can pass it on. Fair? Everybody clear?
OK. Super. Let's go.
So what is today's objective? Number 1, to provide an understanding and appreciation for how microinequities affect people at home, at work, and at play on a daily basis. Also, to have a definition, a clearer definition, of what microinequities are.
There is a lot of other topics going around in the workplace today. One is bullying. One of the other big topics is incivility. And incivility, by the way, as well as bullying have some of the same attributes as we're talking about microinequities. The difference being the frequency of occurrence. And we've got a slide that will talk about that, of each.
Explore some examples of microinequities. And to understand and identify some of the many messages that we send to each other at work that causes us or you, as individuals, to feel either included or excluded. To engage or disengage or discourage to participate. Valued or overlooked. And review ways that we can minimize the impacts and even the visibility of microinequities as well as trying to look at some items and some ways that we can foster a more collegial environmental connectivity amongst each other here as you work. Whether you're HR. Whether or not you're in one department versus the other. It all starts with us or you individually.
Does that sound about right? You guys OK with that? OK.
By the way, one other thing I do. This is just a map of microinequities of what we're talking about today. I realize there are many, many more. Maybe some of you have seen some. This just happens to be my map of microinequities. And what I always like to do in case [INAUDIBLE] subliminal message is to say, I'm not here to argue with you. I know that there are other representations. This just happens to be one. So bear with me.
Before we go that, there is a poem I always like to cover. And it starts off like this. There is a hole in my sidewalk. Chapter 1. There's five chapters. For those inquisitive how many, I'll let you know upfront.
I walk down the street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. And guess what? I fall in.
I am lost. I am helpless. Learned helplessness is not my fault. And it takes me forever to find a way to get out.
Chapter 2. I walk down the street. There's a deep hole in the sidewalk. I pretend I don't see it. Oh. And guess what? I still fall in.
I can't believe I'm in this same place. But it's not my fault. And it still takes me a long time to get out. Now we move on to the next chapter.
I walk down the same street. There's a deep hole in the sidewalk. I see it. I know it's there. I still fall in. It's habit. It's habitual. But my eyes are open and I know where I am. It is my fault. I'm taking ownership now, right? And however, I get out immediately.
Chapter 4. I walk down the same street. There's a deep hole in the sidewalk. I walk around. Eventually, I learn.
The last chapter, chapter 5. I walk down another street. So what that means to some of you and what it means to me, you can individualize it or personalize it. We're talk about bringing change. And we talk about sometimes doing some of the same processes, some of the same ways. And we get the same results.
[INAUDIBLE] philosophical saying. It says a problem cannot be resolved by the same minds that created it. And the other is insanity-- continuously doing the same thing, but expecting to get different results. So maybe-- and I anticipate today offering some of the other alternatives early enough to walk down a different street, so we don't find ourselves continuously falling into the same hole and wondering how we got there. And blaming others, by the way.
You don't have to believe me, but trust me. Next slide.
So this diversity stuff is really not that hard. And for 15 years, I was a global corporate diversity management for Xerox. And it's real simple. It's really common sense. And there's a lot of examples already about it, regardless to what the topic is. Because I know a person, and you know her too, who was a master of diversity relationship building. She was a young woman who pulled together a very strange crew, all together different. No likeness of any sort. Developed a bonding relationship with each of them, even though they were different. And developed an understanding of their differences.
And guess what? It didn't take her a year or two or three years to do it. She did it all in an hour and 41 minutes. And who is that? Ta-dah--
ERNEST HICKS: Dorothy. Think about it. Amazing. No [INAUDIBLE]. Don't even look alike and whatever. But guess what? They were able to achieve the goal or the vision because they had one common focus. And they all worked together utilizing their skills and their differences in order to get there. To get Oz.
You see, they banded together for the big vision to be able to realize their personal mission and objectives. That could only have been achieved by them banding together, which is much like the environment that we have to do in today's situation environment and even with our issues.
We talk about tsunamis. We talk about natural disasters. Amazing. We all bond together.
If that means putting sandbags in sand and stacking it up, people work side by side. Brought together because they had a common cause.
Maybe they don't go back together after that, but it goes to show what can be accomplished when we do put the differences aside. By the way, we're all different. You can go to the next slide.
Everybody in this room is different. Even if we had a group of 150 white males, or black males, or females, or whatever, there's diversity inside of that. How we think, how we approach problems, how we communicate-- visual, kinesthetic, auditory.
If not, if there's five of me, guess what? Four of me is called redundancy. Four is not needed. Even though I happen to think that five of me would be great. But you know? Don't necessarily work out that way.
So as we go through the remaining of the day and all of these slides, I want you to ponder on something. Do we or do you teach people how to treat you? Do we teach people how to treat us?
When people treat us unfairly, we have an option to address it or let it go. A lot of times, people let it go. And what you're saying is, it's OK to disrespect me or treat me that way. You have my permission to do so because I didn't address it or say anything to you.
Putting politics and all of that aside, if you don't want the blossom out, nip it in the bud, mama said. So the next part is be careful what you allow yourself to become used to.
Oh, we used to his behavior. Oh, he's like that all the time, child. You'll get used to it. Do you? Is that what you really want, to get used to it? Being mistreated, disrespected.
And yeah, I'm not standing here as one who haven't experienced that and more. Because I can tell you, you reach a point where you do have to stand up. And whether it's at home or whether it's in the work environment, or department, or whatever, you do. And we do treat people and give them permission to treat us right or wrong. Next slide.
So let me give you a little background. So back in 1973, while researching some racial and gender exclusions in the workplace, PhD Mary Rowe discovered that women and people of color found that they were bothered by some subtle, very subtle, what seemed to be harmless messages of devaluation that kept them from really reaching their full potential in the work environment.
Later, Korn/Ferry International did a study and found that over 2 million professionals and managers leave their jobs every year because of what is in their minds perceived as unfairness in the workplace. It really cost about an estimate of about $64 billion.
I don't know what your cost of hiring for whatever the position may be-- a faculty, a staff, and so forth. But years ago in Xerox, I started in sales. And the average cost to hire and train for the job for sales was about $100,000 that it cost us for ones salesperson. And that's before they even generate the first dollar of revenue. So the payback was unforeseen.
So if you found someone that had some difficulties in selling, you really worked hard to bring that person up to the line of expectation because that was a lot less expensive than spending another $100,000. So the question is, if you're having high turnover of gender and color or diversity, what's the issue? What is that costing you? Is it better, less expensive, more economical to find problem resolution to whatever the issues are versus having people to walk with their feet?
Equity has not appeared in most university campuses to be the problem. Equity being numbers. I talk to a lot of universities that are able to recruit. The problem is keeping them because the environment is not conducive to support them for whatever reason, politics or network, or the microinequities to keep them there. Next slide.
Now, I know nothing like that happens at Cornell. You guys are the exception. OK.
So what are microinequities? Microinequities are those subtle acts of discrimination which are often covert and unintentional. And they're very hard to prove because they're not out there as direct bias racial deals that you can go, oh, without a doubt I know that's what it is. You're going, I don't know. I get this feeling about that person, but I'm not sure. Something's just not right. Or when they say that but I'm not sure if they meant-- or what they meant, but that was the outcome.
They are frequently unrecognized by the perpetrator, but have a significant impact on the recipient. I was talking to one of my mentees that's still at Xerox. She's a senior manager. We were having lunch together. She's a chemical engineer. She's now moved out of the chemical engineering area and she's in a staff position.
She was a little frustrated because this is a person who's also just about got a PhD. And it was a report that was being done and she was passed over for the input of her information. So when she saw the document, which happened to be in an Excel file, she took it upon herself to put her information in that Excel file.
Her senior vice president, she said, says I am glad you felt comfortable with the tool to put your information in the report. Now, what she felt about that was regardless to what her boss' intent was, her interpretation, well, I'm glad to see you're intelligent enough to put some data in an Excel spreadsheet. OK. It's how it was translated.
Now, that may have been the tone and the other things that were said. So here is an individual with almost a doctorate. A chemical engineer, two master's degree. And she feels that she's being questioned about her ability to put some data in some blocks on a form. Mercy, Ms. Percy.
So microinequities occur whenever people are perceived to be different. Whenever people are perceived to be different. We'll cover that a little bit more about our tendencies of hanging and speaking with people that we like because they're more like us.
Microinequities work both by excluding people of differences and by making that person feel less confident and less productive. And our last one, microinequities discourage creativity and risk-taking.
Because if I already feel that you are putting me out there, exposing me, number 1. And you are questioning and you are questioning my ability, number 2. Why would I want to a chance of something not counting to 100% fruition and having that be used against me?
You're saying, see. Another example. I told you. In fact, there is a story about a young lady that was part of a senior team. She was the only diverse candidate. There was no people of color. She was only lady on the senior team. The CEO normally took them out once a year for a meeting on his yacht.
Well, as it goes, they were at the dock. And prior to the yacht leaving, she left her purse up there. So she tell them, we got to go back. I lost my purse. And he says, little lady. This is the big ship. We are not going back for your purse. The best you can do is hope that it will be there when you get back. She says, that's OK. I'll get it myself.
So she grabs the rail, jumps overboard, runs on the water, jumps on the dock, gets the purse, come back. And there was two of her male counterparts standing there when she returned. And their reply was, see, I told you she couldn't swim.
Now, whats' the story behind that? The meaning? Obviously, she ran on water looking for something-- others. Looking for something to say label she's not that good. So I told you she couldn't swim.
So why would I want to take the risk? So why would I want to put myself out there? This a good pace for you? This too fast? Too slow? Just about right?
By the way, you can stop and ask me questions at any point. So why are microinequities harmful? Because the victim can't foresee them coming, or stop them or prevent them from reoccurring. Nothing I can do to prevent that. Not as a whole. But I can bring it to your attention, to make you consciously aware of what you're doing and how that makes me feel.
See, regardless to our communication, regardless to your communication, your communications is only as good as a response that it elicit from the person that you are trying to send that message to. Regardless to what you intended.
So if I think there may be a disconnect, then I owe it to make you aware of the fact of the impact that it had on me. And what I always say is that people cannot argue with when you lead with, when you do or say X, or when this is said or done, this is how that makes me feel. Nobody, I don't care how much authority they have, can argue the point on how you feel. No one can tell you that but you.
That also depersonalize it from an attack. You said X. And then after that, you can forget it. Because when you go you said, you did, he's already thinking of the next thing to come back at you because he's not even listening. And he takes that as a personal attack. That make sense? OK.
Because they are a form of punishment for being different. And their current context of work without regard to performance or merit. Has nothing to do with it. And because they undermined the effectiveness of the recipient, and because they lead to Pygmalion effect.
So you don't think I'm that smart, so why would I want to be smart? So I'll do just enough to get by, so you don't have to fire me. And then, of course, if you're in HR and other things and you're the manager or the supervisor, then you go, well, I'm going to pay you just enough merit where you're not that concerned with and I don't get in any trouble because I've got to give you something and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And then it's the velvet handcuffs. And then, that goes on for years. And then you say, well, I can't leave now. I'm too old. I got 15 years in and so forth and so on. And you supervisor is saying, well, they say we got a hiring freeze on, so I can't have no choice. And blah, blah, blah. And it goes on and on and on. And it's a cycle, cycle, cycle that we all contributed to, right?
Of course, that doesn't happen here. I know it doesn't. And not just here, but in your personal life.
My mom was married twice. It didn't work out. Two different marriages. She raised us two boys. She was tough.
I would go out on a date. She'd be up waiting. She would examine my clothes. What you been doing? What are your pants doing so wrinkled? Uh-huh. You and that honey going to have to go to the sit-in because the drive-in holds long. Come here. I want to smell your breath, and all of this great stuff.
And I had to be-- even in high school, I had to be in the house by 11:00. Kids don't even start coming to the social till 11:30, 12:00. And I'm sneaking out with a girlfriend saying, can I stay till 12:00? No. You at home.
I go home right before the time. She's snoring. The next morning, what time did you get in? 10:30. Don't lie to me. I didn't go to bed till 11:00. And she would punish me.
Now, why am I telling this story? So after a while, my mindset was, even if I do good, I'm going to be still punished. So I just want to get the rewards. That's how I translate it.
So some of the people on the same thing, Pygmalion effect. And because they take up workplace time and energy and they undermine the interpersonal trust and relationships. That's why they're harmful. Next slide.
So microinequities versus rudeness. One of the slides [INAUDIBLE]. The difference between rude behaviors and microinequities is that rude behaviors occur occasionally. You can be occasionally rude. But your microinequities, your bias, happens on a constant basis. And it always feel like the person is being boxed in and creating less than a positive climate.
One of the other things that-- this morning, we had HR group. If you're in HR, you know what I'm talking about on this thing. One of the other big things now, not just in discrimination and lawsuits is around-- called a hostile environment. Microinequities left unchecked can create a hostile environment. And you can still find major issues as it relates to that. Next slide.
So what are some examples of incivility? Asking for input and then ignoring it. After a while, people just go, just tell me what you want me to do. Because three times, you've asked my opinion and I've told you. And you've done just the opposite. So don't even waste my time. Just tell me what you want me to do. And if it's within policy or practice, then I'll just do it. But that just saves my time and your time.
Speaking in a condescending tone and interrupting others, not listening. Interrupting others. I was telling you earlier today, one of the things that I developed years ago was something because people were always interrupting. And one that really worked for me was I would say something like this, excuse me if the middle of my conversation got in the way at the beginning of yours. And they'd go, huh? And I go, I'll say it again. Then, they finally got it. Oh, OK. I'm sorry. But that's bringing it to their attention. OK. Next deal.
Side conversations during a formal meeting or presentation. I know that happens. You go into staff meetings and folks bring all their mail in. Come on. And they're sitting there going through mail. And you're talking about making key decisions, impacting people's lives, or students, or so forth and so on. Or they got their Crackberry, or BlackBerry out, whatever. Or their iPads. And they're sitting there going.
And what I would casually do, because I also used to be a trainer. And some of those techniques, I'd just go up and just stand by them. And then if they still didn't [INAUDIBLE], I'd kind of lean a little bit. And then I'd kind of put my hand on a little bit. And then once they got the message, I'd walk away.
And then if they started back up again, then I'd just go back and I'd go over there again. And I'd just stand, a little hover. And wait a minute. Eventually, they get the message. If not, eventually I would ask them to excuse themselves.
These are senior people. Don't matter, wrong is wrong. Didn't care about the politics. OK.
We were having a conversation at lunch. I could have gone a lot further. I wouldn't have been as happy as I was. You have to take a stance. Especially depending on the road that you're in. Mercy, Ms. Percy.
Talking about someone behind their back, emotional put-downs, disrespecting comments, gestures. One of the other things to do-- and some of my individuals and my career at Xerox in 39, 40 years. A lot of situations, I was the first and only.
When I first was a sales manager, I was the only black or person of color that was a sales manager in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Everybody on my team was a majority male. One individual would always have a problem. I ended up with a team of past managers.
You ever have a past-- that's like having a team. You are now a new department head. And all of a sudden, you inherit everybody that used to be a department head from somewhere else now coming on to you. So that means everybody already thinks they've been there, done that. Smarter than you. About 50 times better, and whatever.
But still, one of the things I would always do when you have to have a conversation was not getting emotional. I would ask three questions [INAUDIBLE] would approach me difficult. Am I in the right frame of mind to address this situation? No. Is this the right place to have this conversation? Uh, no. Is the person that I need to have this conversation with in the right frame of mind? No.
And no to any one of those was enough. I would make an exchange and say, could you excuse me for a moment? I need to make a phone call. Meet me in my office in 15 minutes. That gave me time to cool down where I didn't have to feel that I got to be the boss, or I show them, and whatever.
And then when we did have the conversation, it would start off something like this. Have I ever disrespected you in person, outside, private, or public? No. Have I ever done this or-- no.
Then, my question is very simple, why do you feel that you can treat me any less? And then, they would apologize.
So then I would say, so now let's find out what the real issue is. Because the real issue wasn't me at that point, but I was the blunt. And it could have very well been because, depending on my posture and how I approached it. So these are some of the things that you have to do, still addressing it but with tact. Does that make sense?
Overruling decisions without giving a reason. How many times have you been asked, and this is what we're going to do. Make a decision, whatever. Thank you very much. You're going off thinking that that's going to be what's implemented. You come back. You see something all together different. You're going, what?
That's no where near what we talked. That's not what we agreed to. Incivility.
And not giving credit where credit is due. I actually had a boss that transitioned from one time. And I've always worked with senior executives at the company. And this individual told me one time. After that he says, oh, well, it's a different deal now. Your job is to operate behind the scene. Your role is to make me look good. I'm not making this up. OK. Next slide.
So what activate our biases? Our biases are most likely to be activated by four conditions. You can just click them all up there and I cover them. Stress, time constraints. And time constraints creates stress. Multitasking, which is the same thing. It all goes back to that. And also, the need for closure.
The number of individuals that if you talk to anybody in your HR department, even on this campus right now, that's off becomes of quote "stress" with a doctor's letter-- stress-- it would be unbelievable. And that's not just here if you've got it. And I'm not saying because I know. I'm making a leap here because I find it everywhere-- in corporate America, at Xerox, Kodak, Bausch & Lomb. People are out with stress.
And if they're trying to get certain things done, I've had conversations with people and says, this is what I asked for. This is what I wanted. I've been mistreated before. And if I don't get it, I'm going to go out on short-term disability due to stress. I mean, people know what their options are. And their doctors are working with them. They're going, oh, you can foresee you going out on stress. Yeah. It's kind of like years ago you'd say, I'm letting you know now come December 15, I'm going to be sick. Because I can forecast that, right?
So these are the things. So when we drop our facade, we're no longer able to maintain the energy level for all of these things by keeping that other facade-- that face on. So now, any bias that we have, it is flow to come out [INAUDIBLE] naturally.
Multitasking. We know this is a big issue because constantly the other big thing in the workplace now is work-life balance. That's the other big thing, work-life balance. Between the demand of work, between layoffs and all of these things. And I love it because people here-- and I'm not saying at Cornell, but in corporate America it says everybody agreed that we no longer need this function. This is going to go away, senior managers. You agree? All right. So you agree. So when it's gone, we don't want you saying, I got issues. I didn't know you meant that. So now, that whole department is gone. Or, it's cut down to 30%.
Now all of a sudden, people have memory lapses. Well, I didn't know you meant that. And now you've got people coming in at 7:00, working till 7:00 or 7:30 because they feel compelled. No, no, no, no. You've got to remember. People have memory lapses. I reminded them, no, we don't do that anymore. Or not in my organization. That was one of the things you guys voted to say you didn't want.
So therefore, if you're going to get it, we're going to have to hire people back or pump some more money back in. It's just that simple. Does this stuff make sense?
AUDIENCE: I'm noticing ideology, identity, beliefs aren't on that list. And for some reason, I would have thought of some of those. And I'm wondering why that is.
ERNEST HICKS: What activates a bias? There are some slides that talk about our experiences and our filters later.
AUDIENCE: Oh, OK.
ERNEST HICKS: Yeah. I'm still kind of setting you up a little bit here now, though. You're right. But they are. Your beliefs, your values. And by the way, our beliefs generate the values and so forth. And values can be changed. And they do change. Especially as we go through evolution of life. Our life cycle. Because now, being a senior executive vice president is no longer of value. So that changed certain beliefs that goes along with that, but you're absolutely right.
So as we go through, let me know that if you don't see something that ties to what your concern is, and then maybe I can address it verbally. Fair? OK. Next slide.
The most powerful aspect of communication is not our verbal communications, but our nonverbal. And it is estimated that on a daily basis, 2,000 to 4,000 micro-messages are sent nonverbally on a daily basis. Every day. No exception. That's that informal communication.
And we know it. Sometimes, we do it consciously. Sometimes, we don't. I used to use it all the time at the mall. When you go to the mall [INAUDIBLE] with your wife. And there's this guy that wants to do a survey with the clipboard. And I kind of give him that look like-- and he start walking. And you give him that look or that body motion. And he just back back. We've gotten so to the point that we can recognize that. Next slide.
So this all depends on this thing called rapport. And rapport is a state in which a person is most responsive to you.
Now, when people are like each other, they tend to like each other. You ever notice that? Gee, you're like me. All three of you guys, you guys wear glasses. That means you're as smart as I am. You're good people. I like hanging with you. We could do things because only smart people wears glasses, right? Yeah. See? We like each other already.
On the other hand, when people are not like each other, they tend to not like each other. When people are not like each other, they tend not to like each other. And we look for that likeness as if it was food.
If we had a session where prior to today's meeting and lunch, we had a buffet out there. And some of you guys don't know each other, you would begin to mingle a little bit. And you'd begin to talk. Hi. How are you? How are you? My name's Ernest, by the way. And your name is?
ERNEST HICKS: Theoria.
ERNEST HICKS: We've met before, haven't we?
AUDIENCE: I think so.
ERNEST HICKS: No, it's not a pick-up. Do you work here on campus? Are you off-campus?
AUDIENCE: I work in campus.
ERNEST HICKS: You work on campus. What do you do?
AUDIENCE: I'm a residence hall director.
ERNEST HICKS: Oh. I'm sure that can be challenging sometimes, too. Yeah. Probably herding some of those-- herding castle squirrels they tell me, right?
ERNEST HICKS: Yeah, I know. I had a job like that, similar at one time. How long have you been here?
AUDIENCE: Since 2010.
ERNEST HICKS: OK. You married? You have kids?
ERNEST HICKS: Now, you ask me some things. See, normally the exchange is she asks me, right? Oh, I have kids. Yeah, I'm married, and so forth and so on. So there's likeness. She's constantly looking for that, he's like me and she's like me. We got a connection. OK.
Until I say something now that's against one of her values or one of her belief system. And one of the primary examples I always use is to say, ask me what I used to do before I worked for Xerox Corporation.
AUDIENCE: What did you do?
ERNEST HICKS: I was a trained assassin for the CIA. She go, oh my. And this is when she goes, well, you know, Ernest. I just saw somebody that I haven't seen for a few weeks. Because see, now there's a break. We're no longer in rapport. I don't deal with people who do mass murder, or kill, or shoot, or whatever. Or can do that without a conscious. OK.
And if we found enough of those likenesses, we do like-- you know, we should get together. We should do lunch. Here's a card. Have your people call my people, or whatever. It's that likeness. OK.
You don't invite people to lunch and say, I don't like you. So why don't we get together for lunch sometime? It don't quite work that way. Next slide.
Some categories. There are a million different manifestations of microinequities. A researcher found that there are 10 major categories that are barriers to inclusion in the work environment. Absence of informal mentoring.
Now, I know a lot of you say don't you mean formal? No. In a lot of environments, there's little to no mentoring at all. And this is just a Hicksism, which is my opinion. Get your cup of coffee and a bagel with me. Formal mentoring does not work. That's forced mentoring. It's all built on rapport and relationship.
You cannot force relationship. It becomes a box-checking thing. Look, I'm a senior manager. They say in order for me to get part of my development [INAUDIBLE] a leadership, I got to mentor five people. You're one of the five people I have to mentor. So now here, how long you want to meet? Let's set up a schedule. Let's meet once a quarter. Blah, blah, blah, blah. We call. We get on the calendar. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Talk, talk, talk. Box checked. Done, right?
That's not mentoring. That's not what it's about. But you can have a formal process and using informal individuals, so to speak, as your resource. We had that created by one of the caucus groups, the female caucus groups that went outside. But the formal part of it was they sent a memo out to all senior managers and managers in the company, middle managers and above. They said, we're going to implement a computer software program for mentoring. Would you like to sign up to be a mentor?
And the senior managers agreed, whatever, if they did. They put their bios out. And it's electronic. Employees went to the file, looked at profile. I was one of the managers on there. Then, the individuals would send me a [INAUDIBLE] note that says, I have looked at your credentials and I would like to have a further conversation with you to see if you would be interested in being my mentor.
If I agreed-- and I could respond electronically-- then we would set up a calendar date. And then, so forth and so on.
We were allowed to mentor four people for two years. After that, the relationship had to be-- you could still have the relationship, but it was no longer through that process because they wanted to have room for other people to join. And that process is still in place. So that is formal and informal mixed together. That worked very well. OK.
Lack of quality work assignments and promotions. Some jobs are stress jobs. You hear people talk about it all the time. In order for you get the development, your next step is we need to put you in a stress job.
Now, if you're going to put somebody in a stress job, you want to be sure that you do the right things to support them to make them successful. You don't deliberately put them out there in the stress job, and then they fail and go, see? I told you they wasn't smart enough, or strong enough, good enough, or whatever, to be able to make it in the deal. No. You put them out there without a safety net. That's a lot of times what we do when we bring outside individuals in and don't give them the proper support to make sure that they're successful in the first place. Whether it's a diverse hire, or gender hire, or whatever.
And you're trying to indoctrinate them in a new culture. Guess what? One of the reasons that we hire people is because you're not from here. We need you to come in and help change. We like your creativity. We only have a whole houseful of right-handed people. You are left-handed. You think different. So we like that. We want you to implement that.
Day 1 come. You bring the individual in. Now the first thing is after your first week is you're left-handed. We do things right-handed this way. So you're going to have to change.
So one of the very reasons and the creativity that we said we hired you from, we now want to beat that out of you. OK. And now, you're fighting that.
And a great way to look at this, there is a video and a little book-- a fable. It's called "Peacock in the Land of Penguins." How the peacock was hired in the land of penguins. And he's on the board and he's in the meeting. And he's the only person that's different.
And of course, the peacock is loud and colorful and all this great stuff. So eventually, what happens is all the penguins want him to look like and to act like them. So they give him a penguin suit to put on.
And of course, no matter how hard he tries to put that penguin suit on, it does not fit. Stuff keeps popping out, and whatever. And he's just saying, why can't I be myself? They hired him because of his differences as a peacock.
It's a great, little video. Animated. Great diversity story. You can also get it in a little book. You can read the book in an hour or less. This stuff still making sense to you? OK.
Perceived as under-performance. You got to understand something. Without the resources and [INAUDIBLE] assignment. And nobody's willing to support [INAUDIBLE]. Somebody's 90% is equal to other people's 150%. You've got to look at the conditions and the environment and the thing in the job that had to be done in the first place.
OK, insensitivity. Inability to recover from a mistake. It's amazing how some people can make a $50 million mistake and get away with it. And somebody else come along and make $100,000 mistake and they're branded for life. It's on their back.
50 years ago, $100,000 mistake. Ernest Hicks. Is that the Ernest Hicks? Is that the Ernest Hicks? About 39 years ago was in this deal? Yeah. No, I can't support that. I mean, he made a bad mistake back then. He made a bad decision.
Rather than taking approach a few years ago-- several years ago-- this is a true story. Senior manager at IBM, he did make a $50 million mistake. Brought his resignation in. Got ready to turn it in. Gave it to his boss. His boss say, what is that? He says, my resignation. I cost the company $50 million. I thought I'd just save you the trouble of firing me, I'd just resign. He says, take it back. I don't accept it. He says, why not? He said, we just paid for a $50 million education. You think we're going to let you go without a return? Isn't that a much better approach? Right? OK.
Dual identity because we can't be ourselves at work. And assumption, slights, and other annoyances. And being the first and not having an extensive network which is part of that support group that I've talked about.
Isolation and being ignored. I can stand here and tell you after 39 years, even with a great company, lots of stories because I was isolated. Because in a lot of my career back when I started, I was the only. Even when I went to the University of Arkansas, on campus I was 1 of 500 in a whole population of anybody of color. Of any color. Asian, black, Latino, whatever. 500. So in most in my classes, I was the only face in my class that looked like me. And I graduated in 1973. You go, he's an old fart. Oh. Not old. Mature.
Some examples of microinequities. We can go through the list. Constantly being interrupted while you are talking. Being left out of a discussion.
So if you see somebody on the sideline, by the way, and you got a triad going before you're in a meeting. And it looks like somebody is not being brought in, somebody step up. What is your name, by the way?
ERNEST HICKS: Everett?
ERNEST HICKS: Ephraim. Ephraim, what is your perspective of that? Bring Ephraim in. You might be surprised. He's got the resolution for world peace. Because he's not comfortable though, or it's not in his nature, he won't necessarily volunteer that.
Trying to speak when someone else is reading or sending emails during a conversation and staying on the cellphone. I love it because there's also a commercial about that right now with the little gingerbread boy there in the board room. And he says, yeah. We got 100% board support. And the little gingerbread boy is the only one on the table. And he's on the cellphone. And he says, we have 100%, don't we? And the little gingerbread cookie is just going like this. Very fast. I think it's a Verizon commercial, or something.
Anyway, now that I've brought it to your focused, conscious mind, you will be able to notice that next time you see it. Next one. You can keep going.
Talking with someone who keeps looking at their watch. Isn't that annoying? You got someplace to go? Am I holding you up?
Not being introduced in a meeting and then being ignored. Avoidance of eye contact or rolling your eyes. Mispronouncing your name and misspelling your name.
And I was saying before, I have a very simple name. And a lot of times-- I've done a lot of speaking and other things, leadership and all of that great stuff. And I was in Detroit at EDS. And they had my bio. And he was saying, we have with us today from Xerox Corporation, Mr. Curtis Hinks.
And so I played it off. So when I took the podium, I said, well, I do apologize, Mr. Hinks was not able to make it today, so he sent me instead. And I'm Mr. Hicks. And that's how we brought the deal out. And she went, oh, I'm so sorry. I didn't mean it. OK. I know.
Changing your voice pitch or rate. Fake, masked, or forced smiles. Listening with arms folded across your chest. Praising an idea of one individual even though the next one only add-- maybe used one word differently. Now you recognize that.
And hovering over someone in a controlling way. One more. And replying to someone with sarcasm.
One of the things I bring up here is-- raise your hand if you've got kids. OK. You have to be very specific, depending on-- I don't care how old they are. You know, we're talking about understanding.
Question. You've got to be very specific with your communications. Could you take the trash out? You already know where this is going. An hour later, didn't I ask you to take the trash out? No. You asked me, could I take the trash out? And physically, I can. You didn't say take the trash out. They're play that on you. OK.
And they don't mind turning that back on you as parents. [INAUDIBLE] no, you didn't ask me to take the trash out. You asked me, could I? See, that's our communications. And replying with sarcasm. Next slide.
So what are microinequities? Again, it's actions which reasonable people would agree are unjust towards individuals or a particular treatment of individuals solely because of either race, religion, country of origin, and so forth. It has nothing to do with their creativity or lack of creativity or work. Here are some examples. Maybe you've experienced some of these. Maybe you've heard some of these.
You cannot send her to represent us in a negotiation. Most of their people are European. She will be treated very politely, but will never be taken seriously. Would the senator's staff be convinced by a black lobbyist? It's OK. We warned the ladies about the porn flicks. So if they want to, they can stay away from the evening event. Martin Luther King Day is a foolish and a costly gesture to yet another special interest group. Hey, Paul Wu, you made a mistake in math. I thought you guys never made mistakes. We hired a Hispanic engineer and they were incompetent. We will never do that again.
Maybe you haven't heard these exact comments, but you've heard it in some context that may have been, in fact, similar. Microinequities.
Any questions? No. Next slide.
Negative effects of microinequities. Feeling of being devalued. Low self-esteem. Decrease in morale. A sense that you don't belong or you're not being listened to. Poor interpersonal relationships. Decrease in speaking or sharing ideas. Decrease in taking risk.
Number 1, I'm not going to speak up or say anything anymore. I feel that way sometime in my marriage. I don't know why I do that. Why I go there. I'm not going to say anything else anymore. I had one of those before I came here.
My daughter is 43. My daughter gave my son, who is 40, a pair workout shorts. He is very particular. He does not wear shorts. He don't ever show his leg.
My wife found them-- oh, by the way, if you haven't figured out now, I got two of the three of them back home. Found them in the formal dining room in the chair. I said, whose shorts are those? She says, Kirsten gave them to [INAUDIBLE]. [INAUDIBLE] not going to wear these. So I'm going to where them. I said, that's not right. I said, that was a gift from her to him. Even if he don't wear them, you're really exposing him if she you this summer walking around the house or outdoors in his shorts.
Now, I thought that would have been sufficient. And she asked me what was wrong with me. I said, that's not right. She said, there's something wrong with you. And I just walked off and went upstairs and started packing to come here.
I didn't say it was that humorous, but I'm getting-- you've got to know when to pick a [INAUDIBLE] and when to have a conversation. And right at that point, that was one of those, I'm not in the right frame of mind. We're not in the right place. So don't go there. OK. Because that's going to lead to poor interpersonal relationships. And I'm not speaking anymore and sharing ideas. So a decrease in taking risk.
Again, we understand why this. If I take a risk and it don't go right, and you beat me up, you're not motivating me to put my neck out there again. And a decrease in productivity. Next.
Increase in discrimination and complaints. With everything that's going on, if you go on the web and go and look from the EEOC, for the past five years there have been record complaints being filed. And a lot of it is around harassment, sexual harassment, and a hostile environment because a lot of the things we're talking about. There's still some deliberate from race and gender, but the shift is around environmental things and how people feel they're being treated. So a lot of it is around these microinequities and not necessarily just coming out because I'm black or I'm Latino, or so forth. There's still a lot of that going on, but the shift has gone-- you can find a lot of the data on the website. Next.
And poor retention and recruitment. People are voting and walking with their feet. We are a society today that what we produce is knowledge. People can walk out with what's here and a laptop and they can create and open up a factory and do whatever they want. It's not like I got a building that I am tied to.
So if you don't treat me right and I have options, I have choices. Today's environment, yes, they have a few less choices than they've had in the past because of the job situation. But that is getting better. And as things get better, and your environment is not supportive, some people that you have now that you think are being retained, they're going to be out of here.
And the others that are getting up to the age in the cycle that I am, they're using that-- three more years. Three more years. The last one's out of college. Five more years. The mortgage is paid. And then they can take this job and you know the risk. That's all they're waiting on. And so that's the mindset that they're doing just enough to hang in there for five more years. So they're not going to be doing the extraordinary things, taking the risks to help move the department and the organization on. Because we have put them in that situation. Next side.
Cassie, you're getting an awful lot of potatoes over there. I noticed that she was getting all these things here this morning. A lot of those affirmations.
So fostering a collegial environment. It only takes one disrespectful and/or demeaning faculty member to undermine the civility of an entire department. But on the other hand, it also only takes one strong consensus-building department chair to identify problem behaviors and to [INAUDIBLE] it to bring it to fruition.
You in this room are change agents. You can do some of the following [INAUDIBLE]. Implement strategies appropriate for the situation within the various departments. Communicate with uncivil faculty members about their behaviors.
If you've got a relationship with them, pull them aside. I'm not sure if you're aware how that may have come across the other day. Let me give you my perspective on that. Now, you've got to be comfortable with that, with the individual. Or you know that they're open to you giving feedback.
Other situation is due to the magnitude of the problem. If you were part of it, you just need to stand up and call it out. That's not right. I don't appreciate it, so forth and so on. You say, yeah, but that's that risk.
Be careful what you allow yourself to get used to was back from the beginning. Do you teach people how to treat you back at the beginning? Revert back.
Identify campus resources which may be affirmative action. Well, Cassidy and Lynette and her group. Initiate conversations within the department about what collegiality is and what it's not. But again, let's go back to Dorothy. Look what she was able to accomplish. Part of it was because they had a common goal, a common mission. And everybody had a part in that. So have you established what your common mission, vision, and goals are?
If nothing else, that goes first. That will help unite some of the differences and help remove some of these issues that are called microinequities. Next slide.
So some personal behaviors. Now, I don't know how many of you-- is there faculty in here? OK. And some of you support faculty, and so forth and so on. I left this slide in. There was another one that's general.
So here's a question for your personal behavior. Examining your teaching behavior, for example, what's on your syllabus? Do you have a statement of support for diversity? Not just for you, but for your students that's in the class? Do you have guidelines for class discussions and behaviors? Do you include topics and/or readings that reflect the contributions of other interest groups? Which students get the best and the most responses from you?
OK. Whom do you praise? Whom do you criticize? Whom do you ignore? Whom do you call by name? Think about these things.
What kind of questions do you ask certain students versus others? Even in high school, one of the things I got back from a paper that really cut-- and the note was, I question the authenticity of this paper. What?
I got that. I had a conference with him. So it was like saying, oh, this is so good. I don't think you did this. She later apologized.
To whom do you listen closely? To whom do you respond passively to? With whom do you spend office hours with? Who do you spend non-office hours with if you're not in the faculty deal, but on your deal?
One of the questions is-- there was an exercise which you can do. If I had a jar of white beads and black beads. Black beads representing gender and/or color diversity. And each of you, I ask for every friend that you have that is non-white, take out a bead. For all of your white friends, take out a bead. At the end of the day, if you've got 100 beads out, what is the proportion of the color of those beads?
I don't know. You tell me. Because that's going to have an impact of what we're talking about later on a slide.
What kind of jokes or stories do you tell? And what stereotypes affect how you see students? Next side.
Everybody OK? Feeling pretty good? I know this is right after lunch. So I don't want anybody going through those three stages. If you've been with me before, stage 1. Then you feel like you got whiplash falling off the mountain. And you say, I wonder if anybody saw that? So you don't want to get whiplash. So we go into stage 2, stabilization. Stage 3, slobber running down your wrist and going time to have a break for them.
So this is a slide here about personal behavior for the non-faculty. Again, noticing your reaction. When am I listening and when am I shutting people out? And when am I including or excluding people? Who am I encouraging and who am I praising? Whose contribution am I taking for granted? And who do I consistently overlook?
The other aspect, ask your colleagues and customers and clients, do you feel included, respected, or valued? What behaviors wall people out? Or you? What behaviors encourage contribution? They'll tell you. And what can I do differently? OK. What can the team do differently?
One of the things we used to do, we talk about recognizing individuals. And we think all recognition is the same for all people. So individuals that was on my staff, I individualized recognition.
If I had $100 that I wanted to spend on each for that quarter or something, rather than doing this with-- I got like five Montblanc pens. I never would have spent that kind of money for them myself, so I appreciate it. So I started getting some pens for my staff.
And so finally it dawned on me. I say, everybody might not want or care about a Montblac pen. So I say, if I was going to recognize you for the work that you did, what would you appreciate? What would you like? Montblanc pen, dinner, this, or this, or this, or this, or this?
And they say, Ernest. That's great. What's important to me is family. So if you gave me the $100 for dinner, I can take my son, his wife, and my grandson out for dinner. And so I started giving him $100 when I recognized [INAUDIBLE] or something. Somebody else wanted the pens. Somebody else wanted something else.
People will share with you what is most meaning for them if we just ask. Take the time. Even in our relationships. How do you know I value your contribution? How do you know that I really love you?
This is a question you might ask your spouse and deal at home. Because we all communicate and express these things differently. And how I express love and caring may be all together different than what Cassie does. And I'm thinking I'm expressing that. And Cassie's saying, you got to show me something. Because she's visual. I might be auditory. So I can walk around all day long saying I love you, I love you, I love you. She's visual. So in her mind, she's saying what? S-H-O-- show me. Give me some gold. Buy me a Jaguar.
So think about these things. Next slide.
Now I'm going to get you involved real quick. This is the personal [INAUDIBLE]. Still haven't got to the slide about what I'm talking about. So I haven't forgotten about you.
This is the slide. You can either pair up. I don't know if we've got an even number or odd number. But I want you to pair up in two's. If it's an odd number, somebody's a three.
Yeah. I need A's and B's. So turn to somebody and see if you got two people in a pod, or three.
Kind of moving behind. I'm a little slow. I'm a little off today, right? Time-wise. 2:30?
OK. Let me know if you've got A and B. You're in the groups now? OK.
So in your group, I need somebody to be an A. So raise your hand if you want to be an A. All right. So that means everybody else in that group is a B, right? OK.
So A, you see what your role is. The person A. Person A, talk through each of the eight items below, which is segment 1. Name, tenure, position, responsibility, and whatever your work challenge is. After you do that, you're going to transition to segment 2, which is your previous role, organization, and responsibilities and any current projects you may be working on. OK. That's for A's.
So now, what I would need for you to do, if you're an A, either close your eyes, or turn your head, or put your head down. Because I got some direction for B's that I don't need you to see. OK. All right. So if you're an A, close your eyes or put your hand over so you can't see the slide. OK. Next side.
OK. B's, this is your direction. Got it? OK, go back to the other slide. Go back now.
You guys finished? OK.
We're going to go ahead and pull it back together. OK, we're going to pull it back together. I think everybody at this point have had sufficient time to have the experience. Even though you know it was a setup. OK
The A's. Let me hear from the A's. Yes. What did you think about that? What did you discover?
AUDIENCE: It was really nice when B's were paying attention and listening closely. And I found it very distracting when they started doodling [INAUDIBLE].
ERNEST HICKS: You going to say, what's wrong with these people? Don't they know I'm saying something great, important, they need to hear, or something? And what about your experience?
AUDIENCE: I thought I got sucker-punched [INAUDIBLE]. After a while, I kept talking. [INAUDIBLE] start paying attention.
ERNEST HICKS: OK. Any other comments from A's? Yes.
AUDIENCE: It's embarrassing. I felt like, oh, [INAUDIBLE].
ERNEST HICKS: Yes.
AUDIENCE: I asked him a question when he started to ignore me because I found I was talking to myself. [INAUDIBLE] get his attention back.
ERNEST HICKS: Yes. I saw a hand over here. OK. But even though you know that it was set up because it was a controlled environment, but the feeling that the A's got, that is what's happening when we're talking about in reality when it's not staged. When people are trying to sneak and look at their watch the whole time you're presenting or talking. Or they're looking at their phone. And I was saying even this morning at my church, we're constantly on the screen saying please turn off all cellphones, iPads. Because some people use their iPad for their Bible now. And I see people playing games and texts and stuff.
And occasionally-- it's constantly running in red, turn the phone off. Turn the phone off. In the middle of the sermon, the phone rings. The pastor just interjects. He says, that better be God calling. That's the way he says it. OK. And they're going [INAUDIBLE]. Yes.
AUDIENCE: Can you show us what the instructions were?
ERNEST HICKS: OK. Basically, what happened? To listen the first time. And to start doing things-- mail, phone, ignoring the second time. Because that's the reality.
Again, even though it's a staged setup, you know that's what happens. Let's do the video.
Any other comments from that, by the way? Now that I made you aware of that, if you were unconscious as a B, think about that the next time that you're in that situation.
Let's get to the-- OK. I think we have it minimized. Click to the next one. Now we need to minimize it and get to--
What I want you to do is that we're going to call. I'm going to play a video that's only going to last about-- thank you. I'll get it from here. Thank you. That's only going to last about 30 seconds.
And what I want you to focus on is you're going to see some college kids playing in a hallway with a basketball. And they got some dark shirts and some white shirts. And I want you to count the number of times the kids with the white shirt exchange the basketball. You say you've seen it before? Yes. OK. So you know. So don't give it away.
I think Ephraim, you've seen it before as well? No? OK.
OK. Did anybody see anything funny or strange about that? I saw a few heads. What did you see? Anybody.
ERNEST HICKS: The monster? OK. The gorilla. Raise your hand if you saw the gorilla. OK. Raise your hand if you didn't see the gorilla? OK. I'll let you see it once more.
This time, what I want to do is to look for the gorilla. So this time, just watch for the gorilla and nothing else.
ERNEST HICKS: OK. You're going, how could I have missed that? I don't believe it. And I realize that it's kind of opaque.
But I have it in solid. And the same thing, again, happens anyway. Again. So let me just get back to the presentation real quick.
Here's my point. Did it go fullscreen? OK. Now, you can go to the next slide.
The reason you didn't see the gorilla is because I channeled your focus on what I wanted you to see. And you saw nothing else, with the exception of some people. That's the same thing that happened with biases and with microinequities with people.
If you believe something, we believe that to be true about whether it's gender or people of color. I don't care how good or how great they are. They can walk on water. We only see that other thing because we went through with our filters. Because either our background, our experiences, and so forth.
So through our filters and the filters that I gave you, you were blindsided by not seeing everything that was there. We tend to see what we believe and expect to see. You didn't expect to see somebody walk through with a gorilla, or in a gorilla suit.
There's another example with a person with an umbrella. And it's in solid. And we still get the same [INAUDIBLE].
We unconsciously filter from a set of facts those that fit our expectations and our belief system. We see certain elements and we let others pass through.
Check your stereotypical assumptions about people who are different. So are we only looking for that? If we look long enough, we will find whatever we're looking for. If my only tool in life is a hammer, you've got to understand everything looks like a nail. And we start hitting it. Same thing. It's the same principle. Next side. So contact and connect on a personal level.
We look for those likenesses versus differences. I know we've all heard it, differences attract each other. No. That only works if you're a magnet. Me being messy and you being very neat, I guarantee you when she was out talking about me and my great attribute, she says you know one of the great things that drew me to Ernest in our relationship was he was just so messy. I don't think so.
But what she's saying is that she found enough of our likenesses of each other and values that are similar to one another, that she is willing at this point to overlook me being a little messy. Until she begins to fall out of love with me, then she focus on me being messy.
I like the hotel says, if you want new linen, put this on the bed. If you want new, fresh towels, put the towels on the floor. I stand there going, oh, no. You don't put them on the floor in my house. OK.
Implicit biases. And we only have a few more slides, so we're going to be on time. Bias that emerges from unconscious belief. People feeling and believing that every time I hear thunder, it's going to rain. We know that's not true.
In-group favoritism or favorite. Biases that favors your group. We tend to do more for those we know. We tend to do more for those that we know. And those that we know are much like us. Think about that. That gets back to the number of white beads and the black beads in the jar.
So if there's a job opening, who do you tell? Even though you think I'm doing great, I'm helping somebody out. But if everybody you know happened to be of your ethnicity and/or your gender, then that is not called equal opportunity to put in your resume to file.
So even if I was to offer a bounty-- $50, or $500, or $1,000, which at one time Xerox was doing for a hire. If you [INAUDIBLE] an employee and we brought somebody on board and we hired. So normally, how does that work? We normally bring those individuals in that we know.
So if most of the people you know are of X, that's what you get. Then, that's what you hire. And you go, we don't have any diversity. Mercy, Ms. Percy.
Over-claiming credit. We tend to overrate our contributions to the group effort and a sense of entitlement. The more we think only of our contribution, the less fairly we judge others.
I have had staff as large as 100 that reported to me. And I never said that they worked for me. This is my staff. No. We are a staff that work together. You work with me. You don't work for me. You work for Xerox Corporation. I do not deliberately reach in my pocket and pay you. They do. We have an objective together.
When I would go out and make sales calls, I was the manager. They knew something was different about me with the person that I was with. And they would ask me for a card. I never took business cards with me becomes the focus is not on me. It's on this person. Because if you've got a problem and you're the customer and this is your representative, this is a salesperson. I want you calling them, not me. It's up to them to call me to help. My job is to get the snakes out of your way that prevent you from doing your job.
I don't have to focus on Ernest being successful. My budget, my target is a roll-up of all of you all. So if I beat the snakes that prevent you guys from doing your job, that means you're successful.
When you're successful as a manager or the department head, I'm automatically successful. I don't have to focus on me, me, me. My job is, what can I do to help you be successful? Because you automatically make me successful.
If my budget is $350 million a month, that means [INAUDIBLE] you all. That means your combined budget, however it's broken out, comes out to be $359 million.
Now, the only way I'm going to make it is feet on the street. That's you all. So I'm going to make darn sure you got everything you need to be successful.
See, when you got good people, everybody want to work for you. You've got a department head. Everybody's trying to get in. And when you're a booty butt, everybody else is trying to get out of your department. Don't go there, girl. Woo. Bad, bad, bad. Bad, bad, bad. You don't want to go there.
Am I making sense? You understand where I'm coming from? OK.
Conflict of interest. Bias that favors those who can benefit you. We used to call that brown nosing. Research shows such conflicts and unintentionally also skew decision-making. Next slide.
Ways to minimize microinequities. You can just keep them going. Become aware of your own stereotypes, prejudices on your limitations. Be aware of your micro-triggers. Be open to feedback from others. Be able to forgive yourself and others.
A lot of times, we beat up ourselves so about stuff, a minor mistake, because we feel that we're under a microscope. You go home. You lose sleep over it. You stress out. Now you feel like you've got to redeem yourself.
Move on. Think about the $50 million mistakes. There are enough other people that want to stand in line to beat you up about something that you don't have to do that to yourself. So stop beating yourself up. That's like a relationship.
You guys broke up. Oh, what do you think about in the relationship? Oh, he left me because I wasn't cute enough. He left me cause I wasn't thin enough, or I wasn't smart enough. No, he just left because he had issues. Go out and stand on the porch and holler, next. Because I'm a bargain. OK.
My momma had lots of sayings. And one of them she would say, it's a poor dog that won't wag his own tail. I'll let that sink in tomorrow. That's like a grenade. OK.
Be able to get feedback or open to feedback from others. Be able to forgive yourself. We covered be able to really interrupt microinequities and turn them into micro-advantages or affirmations. That's what I've been asking you guys to do all day that you've been here with the potato.
You can start off with something as simple as that. And believe it or not, even though it was all in fun, some of you have received some positive little notes on that that probably made you feel good that you did something and you didn't think they noticed, or whatever.
One of the things that we implemented-- if you don't have it, I encourage you do it-- some type of recognition that each of you can do within your departments. We used to have something called Take a Bow. It was just a little card. It had a stage, take a bow. No more than like a little thank you note. It was blank.
You could get it. Just walk up, ask for it from HR. Also, tied to it was a $20 gift. There was a catalog. So when you got the little card, you could get it and give it to the person. The $25. Anything over $25, you got to do tax recovery. And you got to not have the name on it, or the institution, and all that great stuff. And we didn't question it.
So if you wanted to recognize me for something that I did to help you out, you could do that and send me the [INAUDIBLE]. People just went crazy over that. Because it was recognition from not only just management, but also your fellow coworkers. So a small amount in the budget.
The other thing we would do is that once a quarter, everybody that had been recognized during that quarter-- and it may have been 30 people-- you got to be a group picture that was also now posted in the hallway that you did-- everybody else that was recognized. So it's the little things that you can do to help people feel valued and not ignored versus devalued.
So I challenge you, if you haven't or don't have something like that, think about doing it. OK.
Be inclusive. Help people feel welcome. Be willing to learn more about this topic, and then share what you know about the topic.
You can very easily make people feel welcome. Just by greeting them. I mean, it's a small thing to do, making them feel like they're part of the group versus not part of the group. Well, it's not my role. I'm not welcome wagon-- blah, blah, blah. You've got to step out of that. Step out of your comfort zone.
Next slide. There's about two more slides.
So 10 ways to create a positive work environment. Number 1, you got to build trust. If you don't have trust, you can forget it. Everything is built on a foundation of trust. Trust is the basic tenet for all relationships. So building that in the environment is absolutely key.
Communicate, communicate, communicate. Communicate positively and openly. In order to create a positive work environment, employees got to feel valued. And also, that you're listening to them.
If we don't communicate and fill-in the gaps, you allow the employees and yourself to fill-in the gaps. And our minds start running away. We all have broad imaginations. And we're so far from the truth that that creates a decrease in productivity and so forth. So communicate positively and openly.
By the way, I'm making all these slides available through Cassie at the end.
Expect the best from your staff. Set fulfilling prophecy. If you have high expectations for your staff, they'll come through.
One of the things we used to do as sales managers in the sales team is we would always have contests. And I just loved it. And the people loved it. Because what they would do is that like once a quarter, once a year, the top-producing salespeople and sales manager will have a custom-made mink coat by a New York designer for your wife. Or if you don't want to get her the mink coat, you can get yourself a Rolex watch.
So now we're in the regional meeting and they were making bets with me because they knew how I worked in the team. And I didn't know there was a bet, the senior VPs and whatever. So now I'm up. They're putting me through the grill. And they go, Ernest. I go, yes. Your people are aware of the contest going on? I said, yes, they are. Are you pushing it? I go, no. Because we're just asking them to do what they're supposed to be doing and getting paid for in the first place.
And if they do that, the way the contest is set up, they're going to win anyway. And if they win, I win. And they go, what? And I go, yeah. How many times a year can we offer mink custom coats and Rolex watches? Maybe once.
So if all of a sudden somebody can make their plan where they couldn't make it before, they're obviously working for the wrong reason. So they got a wife. They got a mortgage. They got cars. They got kids. If that's not incentive and motivation enough to get out there and do what they're supposed to do, I don't think I need them on my team because they got the wrong focus. And that's how I see it.
And with that being said, I won every outright sale contest there was. My wife and I over the years have been to three Super Bowls, to Reno, and all of that. And I got bicycles, and barbecue grills, and my first set of golf clubs, and all of that. And I was saying like this morning, if you were HR, you know who I'm talking about. Those things aren't free. They put a big number on that. Like those trips, that would have cost you $20,000. We're giving you this and the rest you got to pay.
So I said, I can't afford to win anything else through tax recovery because I got to pay my bills because they take that out of your salary on a monthly basis. OK. And I didn't have to drive my people to do that that worked with me. They did it. And a lot of them were upset because I didn't make them aware. And I said, there was no need.
If you do what you're supposed to do, you will be successful and I'll be successful. And we won everything possibly. And I didn't have to drive anything. So I'm just saying, treat people, build trust, communicate, expect the best from them.
Team spirit. When things didn't go right, I didn't beat them up. I took the responsibility. That was my fault.
When they did great, I didn't do it. I had nine other people that supported to me. They're the ones who actually brought it together.
Give recognition and appreciation. You do that and you'd be surprised. You'd be one of those departments, one of those supervisors where everybody want to come and work in your organization. Next and last slide.
Give credit and take responsibility I covered. Be approachable. It's one thing working at the corporate level. I've worked with the CEO. We've had two female CEOs. And people canonize people at that level. And senior executives.
I walked down. I challenged them. I pushed back on them, just like if they were anybody else. OK.
But out in the field, if you're not used to working with them and being at the table with them-- yeah, it's like, ooh, I don't want to be there. You know, so forth and so on. I might make a mistake. I might say the wrong thing. Or we don't see them as real people.
But be approachable. Provide positive in the physical work environment. This is really key. And make staff evaluations a positive experience.
And the way you do that is you don't surprise people. Set annual goals at the beginning. This is what the department, this is what the university's mission and goal is. This is what I do. This is what I do affects what the overall campus responsible for. What are going to be my metrics that you and I, as my manager, agree to? This is how I'm going to be evaluated. So I got both subjective and objective content.
The worst thing for me and I always push back on was people resist my boss. And then it happened all the time because over the years, I was a senior middle manager. So I always reported to a senior vice president. But nobody that was ever on my team, did I ever ask them to write their annual performance appraisal. Because to me, as a boss, that means you didn't know or understand what I was doing. Or, we obviously didn't spend enough time together. That was number 1.
Number 2, the other thing is that would bother me is that you asked me to write it. I wrote it.
Now we're in the meeting. Well, I disagree with that. Well, you should have wrote it. And that's just what I said.
You asked me to write it. Based on what I felt, based on what I know, what I know I did, that goes in. And I'm not willing to change that.
If you feel differently, then you should have wrote that. So then we got a compromise. And in fact, I was saying once before-- I finally made a little joke out of it.
One thing [INAUDIBLE] Ernest, it's annual appraisal time. I need you to provide me with your feedback. Write it up. So I did. I sent an email and it read the following. Ernest done good.
I'm not making this up. It came back. She says, I agree, but you've got to do better than that. So I did. I was having a little joke.
And make it fun. Everybody wants to be where people are having fun. So maybe once a quarter, have a birthday celebration. Or maybe celebrate your success.
We used to have month-end-- I mean, quarter-end crunch. So when everybody was all running around in administration, HR, and billing, and all of that. And we made the goal and the target, then what we would do is just have a big lunch celebration. We'd have pizza and crock pot. And everybody just celebrated. Then, for the rest of the day we just grazed.
Mind it again, that's that positive affirmation versus that microinequities. OK. Remember, there's two things you want to strive for, equality and equity. The equality or the equity part comes in when you're recruiting and you're bringing in the numbers for diversity.
The other part though is equality. Are you treating everybody the same? If it's annual appraisal time and you're giving out merit increases, what is your distribution of your merit?
Now, I know within plus or minus being in HR for so many years, that there is a give and take where it's marginal. Nobody has got to explain it.
But if every time that you look at your distribution and the lesser part is gender-wise, or the lesser part is people of color, you've got an issue. Something is broken in the process. Because you can't say constantly that this group of individuals in my organization is constantly falling below everybody else that's getting up in the higher percentile. That's not acceptable. That's an inequality.
So what I mean by you're talking about a microinequity. You're saying that's within the plus and minus of from an EEOC or affirmative action. So that's within the range. You should and supposed to be able to explain that. But you can't consistently explain to say that that's always the issue. That's not right. That is called abnormal variation. You don't have to believe me, but trust me. Questions?
One more. This is the last slide. So microinequities and uncivil behaviors can have a profound impact on how it relate to one another. And now that you are more aware of these topics, you should be able to recognize these behaviors in your world and respond appropriately.
We going to try one thing. That is the last official slide. We want to see if we can get this hyperlink and this other one up. Go to the next one.
There is a hyperlink. Is this it?
It's not coming up. Let's see. OK.
ERNEST HICKS: It's not showing there, though. OK.
ERNEST HICKS: It's what?
ERNEST HICKS: It's not showing there, though.
ERNEST HICKS: OK. It's just a little clip that I wanted you to see. That is the very end. We're going to see if we can get-- for some reason, it's not coming through on the screen.
If it works, fine. If not, then--
Can we turn the volume down a little bit? OK. It's not showing. It's showing on the computer screen, but it's not reflecting up here. OK.
OK. Don't worry about it. We're going to go ahead and just close out. OK.
Later when you get this in the slide, do go to this. Because it is a little scenario, real quick. And it's talking about, I started out by trying to change the nation. And I found out that I couldn't change the nation, so I decided to change the world. I found out that I couldn't change the world, so I decided I would change my community. I found that I couldn't change my community, so I had to change me. And now that I have changed me, I changed my community. When my community changed, I changed the world. When the world changed, I changed the nation. And that's how we start.
So you have to be the individual that start the change that changes with you. And once you do, you will have the impact on others. And one of the things we're talking about-- and it's not about what you say. So here's a little exercise.
Put your hand out for me like this real quick. Now, making a circle. Now, what I want you to do is put your hand on your chin.
Now, look at the person next to you and see where their hand is. Where is it? Where is it? Anybody.
AUDIENCE: It's on the cheek.
ERNEST HICKS: On the cheek. But where did I tell you to put it?
AUDIENCE: You said chin.
ERNEST HICKS: Chin. Why? Because what you do and what I do speaks so loudly other people can't hear what we say. So regardless to what you say, people follow what you do. Because they say, maybe I misunderstood what Ernest said. But if I do as Ernest did, I'm safe. I'm OK because I'm doing him.
So for you to go out and to talk about we're good, and I respect you and so forth. And I value you and so forth. And all your behavior in your conversation is just the opposite, that's what people see and hear. They don't see that.
They see, oh, he say chin, but he put it on his face. Now with that, all of those who have the potatoes, come forward, please.
Grab a quick straw. OK. I've tried to open most of these up for time. This is the last part of today's presentation. OK.
Are you cold?
AUDIENCE: I was just going to--
ERNEST HICKS: Oh, you were going to leave. Oh. OK. All right. But now you're going to be ready to go.
So if you grab a straw. OK, everybody got a straw? OK. You need one? OK.
So just line up across where all of your coworkers can see you. See, it's one great thing about-- I've already talked about following and leadership and all this great stuff. The other thing is we go to workshops and we go to presentations and we just leave. We're just so excited. And people go back.
And then if you don't keep-- stay abreast of everything that we talked about, like what you felt good about, we fall back in those same old habits. It's kind of like cross your arms. Cross your arms the way you normally do when you're comfortable. Like this. You feel good.
Now, reverse it. Go back the other way. It's kind of awkward, isn't it? So now, because that's uncomfortable, that's called change. And only wet babies like change.
See, when you go through this, now you keep going back the way it's comfortable to you. So if you're not careful, you won't follow through with a lot of the new things that you've learned.
But with a little practice, with a little practice of standing up-- what you do is take the straw up in your hand and put your thumb over it this way. And what I want you to do is to hold your potato between your fingers tight.
Put it like this. Don't hold it up this way because we're going to put the straw through it. [GASP]. How many of you seen me do this before, or seen somebody else do it? OK. How many of you believe that we can put this straw through these potatoes? OK. A few hands.
They say, Ernest, obviously, must believe it because he's doing it. OK. So what you do is-- I want you to do a little practice first.
Don't hold it like that because the straw will go through, you're going to do your hand. Hold it between your fingers. OK. Yes. You want to hold that out there like that, too. Like this. OK. She say, she's going to get her a smaller potato. OK.
So what I want you to do is first thing is practice. And what you got to do is do your arm like this. Follow through. Go all the way through. I teach martial arts. And I tell the kids, you want to break the board? You don't stop when your foot hit the board or your hand hit the board. You've got to follow through like hitting me in the chest.
So do this. Get comfortable doing this. And then once you feel comfortable with it, take it over to the potato. And then, do it like that. Mine stopped and went through. It broke. [INAUDIBLE] straw problem.
There we go, all the way through. Look at that.
Yours stopped. Yours stopped. Yours stopped. Broke. Oh, it broke. Oh, OK. Who went through? Yours went through? Got it over there. Yours went through.
If you follow through, you'll be successful. But it's like anything else. If we stop, we go halfway. We run up against that wall, then the straw snaps.
I must have stopped. Mine went through another hole. It broke. Oh, it stopped. It went through? But it went through it, absolutely.
See? So some of you thought it was impossible, just like you think it's impossible to change your environment. It's not. But all you need to do is stand up and be tactful in your response. And understand a little bit of change, a little bit of change. Ultimately, that's how we bring about change in the culture, through evolution of revolution. Evolution is over a hundred years. So you got to do something revolutionary or different, people. And if you're going to make a difference going back to the beginning.
God bless. Thank you for having me. Thank you, guys.
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Ernest Hicks, retired manager of corporate diversity at Xerox Corporation, discussed ways to proactively address bias and micro-inequities in the workplace, Jan. 15, 2014. The program is part of the new Inclusive Excellence Academy, supported by the University Diversity Council to advance the Toward New Destinations initiative.