Dialogue starter: Is saying nothing better than saying the wrong thing?

WhatWeDo-SeriousGames-smalltrioWhen our sister company’s interactive ‘serious games’ InclusIQ Insights are played in groups, we sometimes find people, particularly white men, are reticent to speak up for ‘fear of saying the wrong thing’. Because white men have held global power for so long, they know their comments are highly visible when it comes to diversity issues and so sometimes self-edit. Putting the pressure on people to ‘eliminate bias’ can also create a culture where people say nothing at all, rather than risk getting it wrong and being embarrassed.

It’s why InclusIQ’s modules don’t focus on ‘eliminating bias’, but getting people to think about what they can do about it and to discuss that. So what happens if conversation is shut down that way? Otherwise well-intentioned people continue to make their decisions based on their assumptions. Instead InclusIQ’s ‘serious games’ ask players to be curious about all the ways this game could have played out depending on the choices they made. We like people to first notice potential biases within the characters so they can identify how they, like other people,  can reduce their own biases. InclusIQ’s modules delve into question such as: ‘If I was able to overcome my natural biases, how might my conversations be different? How might my choices be different?‘ Those are a great starter for getting people past the fear of saying the wrong thing. If you’d like more information about InclusIQ’s ‘serious game’ modules get in touch.

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