Gaining self-awareness and understanding bias
Interpreters and educators do not practice in a vacuum. They bring to their work personal experiences, values, and biases. Interpreters and educators also work for an agency and a public with their own values and biases. By becoming more critically self-aware, interpreters and educators can develop a range of more inclusive, inviting, and accurate interpretive opportunities through personal services and media products.
Any external change begins with self-consciousness and awareness. Therefore, interpreters and educators must confront and uncover their own assumptions and biases. In doing so, interpreters and educators build a foundation of self-knowledge to help others examine the role and impact of biases.
Becoming self-aware requires commitment to the practices of self-examination, self-monitoring, and challenging assumptions. Self-awareness is not attained but rather is aspired to and can be demonstrated through improved actions, attitudes, and relationships with others.
Interpreters and Educators:
- Identify how personal biases and assumptions impact emotions, beliefs, attitudes, and actions
- Acknowledge the ways in which agency bias influences one’s own perspective
- Address how one’s own words and actions affect co-workers, other people, and themselves
- Model self-reflection and composure when adapting to changing perspectives and circumstances
- Seek and initiate collaborative and respectful interactions with co-workers, visitors, and communities with differing identities, perspectives and experiences
- Continuously learn about perspectives, beliefs, and experiences different from one’s own
- Demonstrate a respect for a diversity of opinions and perspectives
Download the 2018 revision of the foundations document: Foundations of Interpretation – Competencies for the 21st Century 2018 [PDF]
- Recognizing and Reducing Bias – Looking through Johari’s Window
- Project Implicit: Implicit Bias Self-Testing
- OSU’s Understanding Implicit Bias
- Bias Cleanse – MTV’s Look Different Project
- 21st Century Skills Training and Coaching Forum in the CLP Commons (you must be logged in to the CLP on the NPS network to access this discussion forum)