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Every Shut Eye Ain't Sleep

There’s a saying that I grew up hearing in my Gullah geechee community: “Every shut eye ain’t sleep and every goodbye ain’t gone.” Adults would say that around children as a reminder that children are listening even when it appears that they are not. In other words, be careful what you do and say around them.

These are words of wisdom that shaped my parenting, but as much as I tried, I know that my sometimes, off-handed comments about someone or a situation have undoubtedly left a mark on the minds my daughters.

It happens to the best of us. The snarky comment we make about someone at work or the frustration that comes across when we can’t seem to land the right job are all a part of the loop that quietly plays in the background of young minds.

The impressions we leave on our children also comes from the jokes we make or laugh at. Many of these comments lay dormant in the minds of our children, just as the lessons, both taught and learned from our own childhoods lay dormant in our minds until we grew up and began making decisions on our own.

We all have a buffet of decisions to make as we embark on adulthood:

*Which career path to take

*Whether or not to enlist in military service and of so, which branch

*Whether or not to attend college and if so, which college to attend

*Whether or not to join a fraternity or sorority

* Whether or not to choose a mate and get married

All of these are typical choices that everyone thinks about at some point in their life. But, have you ever thought about why you made the choices that you made? Did you go to a particular college because that’s where your mother went? Did you go into a particular line of work because that’s what you dad did? There’s nothing wrong with any of that, but understand that all of our choices are tied to influences in our lives.

Sometimes these influences are more than just influences, sometimes they’re biases, unconscious biases to be specific. An unconscious bias, (also called an implicit bias) is a social stereotype about a certain group of people that individuals form outside of their own conscious awareness.

We all have biases, conscious and unconscious; those we acknowledge and those we don’t. Join me in a conversation as I read excerpts from my new book, “Biases – A Guide for Uncovering Areas of Unconscious Bias" on May 20th. You can register for free here:

And on May 21st, I will be unwrapping this topic more at my session with the East Texas Leadership Summit. You can register for the summit here:

You can purchase a copy of the book here:

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