One of the Nation’s Leading Experts on Unconscious Bias, Workplace Diversity, and Cross-Cultural Business
Dr. Sondra Thiederman is one of the nation’s leading experts on workplace diversity, bias reduction, and cross-cultural business. She has brought 25 years of experience to helping Fortune 500 companies, government organizations, and dozens of associations become successful in our increasingly diverse workplaces.
Her client list includes such prestigious organizations as The Boeing Company, Motorola, General Motors, Xerox Corporation, Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, Marriott Corporation, the Mayo Clinic, Century 21 Real Estate, American Express, and AT&T. Her work has taken her in front of notable associations including the American Immigration Lawyers Association, the Mortgage Bankers Association, the American Society of Association Executives, and the Arthritis Foundation.
She has consulted for the University of California and has served on the Diversity Cabinet of the American Red Cross. Most recently, she has served as an Expert Panelist for O’Mara and Richter’s Global Diversity and Inclusion Benchmarks: Standards for Organizations Around the World.
Sondra has been featured in the media, including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and USA Today. She is published in professional journals ranging from Association Management and Real Estate Today to T&D, has written on the topic of workplace diversity for Monster.com and is the author of five books.
Sondra is a triple threat in her field in that she brings years of practical experience, an advanced education (she is the recipient of a Ph.D. from UCLA), and renowned speaking skills to deliver programs that make a real difference in her client’s workplaces and in their lives.
Defeating Unconscious Bias: Your Workplace Advantage
Provide your team members with the skills needed to identify and defeat the biases that compromise their ability to work and lead effectively. THE PRICE WE PAY FOR BIAS • Unconscious biases wreak havoc on any organization’s ability to reach its goals: • Biases reduce the ability to make successful hiring and promotion decisions. • Biases compromise our efforts to build truly inclusive workforces. • Biases discourage people of diverse backgrounds from contributing ideas and taking professional chances. • Biases trigger the loss of valuable employees. • Biases minimize innovation and creativity. • Biases interfere with the development of productive work teams. PROGRAM CONTENT The following will be customized to meet your needs and program format. Points are made through a mixture of audience interaction, commentary, respectful humor, anecdotes, and client-specific examples. • The definition of “bias” and an interactive discussion of how biases work in the brain to distort our perceptions of others • Examples of how unconscious bias negatively impacts your organization, the object of the bias, and the holder of the bias • Two interactive techniques for becoming aware of and identifying unconscious bias • Questions to ask to distinguish a bias from a flexible generality • Three research based and immediately-applicable tools for defeating unconscious bias THE PRINCIPLES THAT SHAPE THIS PRESENTATION • True learning is always enhanced by participant interaction. • Anecdotes, examples, and a light-hearted approach are powerful tools for reducing resistance, overcoming discomfort, and enhancing retention of the material. • Although all human beings have biases to some degree, biases do not make us bad people. It is what we do about them that matters. • Blame and guilt are poor tools for bringing about change. • It is possible to become aware of many of our biases through skill, alertness, commitment, and habit. • Most biases can be defeated through the consistent application of specific skills and tools. SUPPORT MATERIALS FOR YOUR PARTICIPANTS Sondra’s book, 3 Keys to Defeating Unconscious Bias, is a natural companion to this presentation. Purchase for all attendees is recommended. Discount rates are available. PROGRAM CUSTOMIZATION This program can be customized to meet your needs. Sondra will work closely with you to assure that the presentation speaks directly to your audience and to your goals.
CULTIVATING COMMON GROUND: Innovation, Trust, Bias Reduction
Overcome workplace bias and increase innovation by identifying shared values, interests, and goals while valuing diversity. PROGRAM BENEFITS • Increased inclusiveness through the ability to value diversity while identifying shared values and interests • Increased opportunities for innovation and creativity • Reduced conscious and unconscious bias in the workplace • An environment of increased comfort, trust, and harmony • Improved employee willingness to speak up with ideas and information • Stronger empathy between team members PROGRAM CONTENT The following will be customized to meet your needs and program format. Points are made through a mixture of audience interaction, commentary, respectful humor, anecdotes and client-specific examples. • An interactive discussion of how identifying what we have in common – while valuing diversity – enhances workplace innovation, trust, fairness, and commitment • An overview of how identifying what we have in common helps defeat unconscious bias • An interactive discussion of the four values all human beings share • Four immediately-applicable skills for identifying common ground in the workplace o How to keep Common Ground top of mind o How to enable goal-oriented inter-group contact o How to develop two-way mentor partnerships o How to develop Employee Resource Groups and other entities around shared needs and goals. SUPPORT MATERIALS FOR YOUR PARTICIPANTS Sondra’s book, 3 Keys to Defeating Unconscious Bias is a natural companion to this presentation. Purchase for all attendees is recommended. Discount rates are available. PROGRAM CUSTOMIZATION This program can be customized to meet your needs. Sondra will work closely with you to assure that the presentation speaks directly to your audience and to your goals.
GATEWAYS TO INCLUSION: Turn Tense Moments into Productive Conversations
Learn the skills needed to convert moments of workplace tension into gateways for increased understanding and stronger workplace relationships. WHY ORGANIZATIONS NEED THIS TALK: Have you ever been offended by someone’s comment but didn’t know what to do about it? Have you ever said something insensitive and didn’t know how to take it back? If so, welcome to the crowd. Unfortunately, these moments of diversity-related tension are all around us. Sadly, they cause confusion, embarrassment, anger, lost work time, hurt feelings, and resentment – the list goes on and on. The good news is: It doesn’t have to be that way! This presentation shows audiences how to handle those moments more comfortably, using them as springboards to better working relationships. Handled well, these events can serve as positive gateways to increased understanding and better working relationships. That’s why Sondra calls these “Gateway Events.” PROGRAM BENEFITS • The ability to convert moments of tension into better working relationships • Reduced bias through improved communication • Time saved for management from having to intervene in diversity-related conflicts • Increased teamwork and workplace harmony • Less tension among team members. • Increased employee retention as a result of an increased atmosphere of respect and inclusion Reduced risk of employee complaints and litigation PROGRAM CONTENT The following will be customized to meet your needs and program format. Points are made through a mixture of audience interaction, commentary, respectful humor, anecdotes, and client-specific examples. • Discussion of how moments of diversity-related tension can be converted to opportunities for improved communication and reduced bias • Examples of “Gateway Events” that are pertinent to the client organization • Survey of the specific ways in which effective dialogue skills positively impact relationships • Exposure to four key skills for effective dialogue. Each skill will be accompanied by examples and extensive audience interaction. These include: o Skills to manage the emotions that typically block our ability to dialogue with respect and clarity o Guidance on how to set productive goals for each conversation – and how to achieve those goals o How to handle the dilemma of intent versus impact o How to make respectful verbal choices that encourage rather than shut down productive conversation SOURCE MATERIAL This presentation is based on Sondra’s training video package Gateways to Inclusion: Turning Tense Moments into Productive Conversations PROGRAM CUSTOMIZATION This program can be customized to meet your needs. Sondra will work closely with you to assure that the presentation speaks directly to your audience and to your goals.
“Dr. Thiederman spoke on diversity to a group of high level Human Resource executives. She gained instant credibility with the group when it was apparent that she thoroughly grasped our company culture and was, therefore, able to challenge the group and generate productive interaction and discussion. As we continue to explore this topic within our company, we will not hesitate to call on Dr. Thiederman again.'”
- Brian Stull | Vice President. Corporate Human Resources, Newell Rubbermaid
"Sondra's talk helped our audience of 700 UAW leaders explore how diversity affects their personal and corporate lives. She tailored her remarks to this specific audience and used a light-hearted yet sensitive approach that was very well received. There is no doubt but that the audience left her presentation with new insights with which to form and sustain more profitable and bias free relationships."
- Larry E. Knox | GM Executive Co-Director, United Auto Workers – General Motors
“As I sat watching you speak at our annual luncheon, I could see the rapt attention which you commanded throughout the presentation. You were a hit! Your luncheon address was well-times, professional, and stimulating. I would welcome the opportunity to have you participate again in the future.”
- Gail J. Curran | Director, Referrals/Relocation, Century 21 Real Estate Corporation
"I have seen Sondra speak on two occasions including to the Western/Pacific Regional offices of Marriott Corporation. Participant comments included: ‘The program was a good mix of sensitivity and concrete information’; ‘Excellent,very interesting and informative,a real surprise!’; ‘We need this topic in the hospitality industry. It was an excellent overview of a very relevant topic.'”
- Joan Mitchell | Director of Human Resources, La Jolla Marriott Hotel