Leadership Based Strategies Training Based Strategies
Principle Those who are the most prejudiced and the most likely to act in prejudicial ways are also the most concerned about the opinions of the authority figures within their environment. While we all pay attention when those who might be able to threaten us are speaking, this is a stronger characteristic of those who are highly prejudiced. Many of the habitual ways in which we see the world are prejudicial and were learned before we were able to evaluate them or make decisions. To change these ways of viewing others we need to not only become aware of these reactions as prejudiced but we also need to practice new responses.
Methods The leader of the organization makes his/her personal opposition to prejudice clear and overtly apparent. The leader supports activities which will
value difference and responds publicly to any overtly prejudiced acts as an attack upon the organization as a total. The leader uses the "bully pulpit" to reduce prejudices and increase theacceptance for differences.
Training is provided that will increase the participants' awareness of the dynamics of prejudice, increase their exposure to those they might be prejudiced toward and provide them with methods to use in an ongoing approach to their own prejudice reduction. This training cannot function effectively without the support of
the leadership within the organization.
Strengths This approach is most effective with those who are intentionally prejudiced because of their heightened sensitivity to authority figures. The methods used do not require the involvement or consent of those who are most effected by the
This approach will heighten the awareness of, and the reduction of, unintentional prejudices which are the most widely used and the most overall damaging to society. These methods are able to reduce prejudices that are not measurable or easily observable.
Weaknesses This method does not approach the most widely practiced form of prejudices, the unintentional prejudicial responses. While this approach alone may not result in lasting changes it may make possible other activities which will have lastingeffects. Sometimes this method may have negative effects on the most actively prejudiced individuals and may cause or encourage prejudicial behavior from them. This problem can be avoided by not requiring participation in this training.
For the overall population this approach is safe and highly effective. It has a built-in targeting dynamic because those who are most overtly prejudiced are also most sensitive to the positions of leaders on prejudice related issues. For the majority of us who are aware at some level of our own prejudices and who hold values that are non-prejudicial, this treatment is the most effective.
Illustrations In the April 1993 issue of Training and Development, John Dovidio reported some results of leadership behavior in reducing prejudices. In one corporation, the CEO simply asked that his senior management discuss what they were doing in the area of equal opportunity. That was all he did, and by the next quarter there had been a significant increase in both the promotion rate and the hiring rate of women and minorities. Dovidio also reported in the same article that the
Army had only rarely promoted women and minorities at the same rate as the overall rate of promotion. Since the goal was announced to promote minorities and women at an equal rate to the overall promotion rate, it has been met on a consistent basis.

After an experimental group of female counselors had gone through a four-hour "Culture Sensitivity Training" program, they received significantly higher ratings from lower income black female clients on each of the following:

o Expertness
o Trustworthiness
o Attractiveness
o Empathy
o Unconditional Regard
o Client Satisfaction

In addition to these ratings, the clients returned for more counseling sessions than did the clients who saw counselors in the control group (those who did not participate in the four-hour "Culture Sensitivity Training" program). The two groups of counselors were not different in level of experience or in the number of Blacks counselors within the group.
This work was done by Priscilla Wade and Bianca Bernstein and published in the Journal of Counseling Psychology in 1991, Vol. 38, No.1


These two approaches are not conflicting, but are complimentary and mutually supportive. Doing training without overt administrative support is difficult and much less effective. At the same time, an administrator who repeatedly gives verbal support for the reduction of prejudices, yet never supports programs or policies to reduce prejudices, will not have much credibility and weaken the power of leadership approach. The most effective approach is a coordinated combination of these two approaches using each where it is most successful. The recognition that these two approaches are mutually supportive is critical to the effectiveness of reducing prejudices. The training program will get more hostile responses if the administrative support is not visible and the leadership will soon look like a paper tiger if the leadership only talks about reducing prejudices and does not actively support training programs.

There are many methods of approaching the reduction of prejudicial behavior. These methods could be divided into many different approaches. What I have attempted to show here is that we need to make divisions based upon the dynamics of the disorder we call prejudice. While we do need to use the power of the authority figure, which has a special capability with those who are the most strongly prejudiced, we also need to use education for most people. These two approaches are, I believe, very supportive of each other and either approach without the other is severely weakened. Simply put, to fund a training program and then withhold the authority figures’ open and overt support is poor economics and poor management. For the authority figures within an organization to delegate all the responsibility of prejudice reduction is to undermine the program. This is especially true if the only authority figure who is speaking up to reduce prejudices is a member of a group that has been traditionally disenfranchised. It is most important that the authority figures who are not members of the traditionally disenfranchised groups speak up because they have, at this point, a great deal more leverage with those who are the most prejudiced and this can not be delegated.


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Understanding Prejudicial Behavior

Who Can Reduce Prejudicial Behavior

Reducing Prejudices within an Organization

Some Impacts of Prejudicial Behavior

Assessing Your Knowledge of Prejudices

Myths, FAQ, Alerts, ect.

Some Dynamics of Prejudicial Behavior

Assessing Your Own Prejudices

Our Connection to Others, the Earth and Future

Publications,Training Materials and Workshops

Reducing Your Prejudicial Behavior

Contacts and Credits