The Conversation: How Talking Honestly About Racism Can Transform Individuals and Organizations

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Racial divisions play out as starkly within the office as they do in wider society. What can YOU do to eradicate the bias and create a extra numerous, inclusive and equitable surroundings?

“A one-stop useful resource for anybody wanting to grasp the causes and manifestations of racism, to look at their very own biases – and know what works to advance racial fairness at work.”FT

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Racial fairness is achievable. However the trustworthy conversations we have to must foster that change will be uncomfortable – and are all too usually averted.

Drawing collectively years of educational analysis from the fields of psychology, sociology, administration, and behavioural economics, Robert Livingston has created the final word solutions-oriented information for many who wish to remodel the social order, however are uncertain of the way to go about it. With readability, wit and deep understanding, The Dialog goals to fight this uncertainty by rising confidence, capability, and dedication to participating in racial dialogue.

In serving to us to raised perceive how efficient dialogue is essential to resolving the issue of racism in society and the office, The Dialog is an important device for uprooting entrenched biases and remodeling well-intentioned statements on variety into concrete actions and measurable outcomes.
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“A crucial useful resource for these dedicated to combating bias and increasing inclusion and belonging.”
-Brian Chesky, CEO of AirBnb

“A completely crucial contribution to the a lot wanted efforts to grasp and fight racism within the company realm. Obligatory studying for all critical leaders and individuals who aspire to steer.”
– Nels Abbey, writer of Assume Like A White Man

Specification: The Conversation: How Talking Honestly About Racism Can Transform Individuals and Organizations

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16 reviews for The Conversation: How Talking Honestly About Racism Can Transform Individuals and Organizations

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  1. Emily

    The depth of this book makes it the opposite of a “light read” but that’s also why it is so valuable. Really any question you could have on the prevalence and impact of racism, claims that dismiss racism and convincing counterarguments using data, and are complete articulation of the problem space are clearly mapped out. This book would be best read by a group, using the guides at the end of the 3 major parts to foster discussion.Context and Data* Racist vs. non-racist is currently thought of as permanent, like a tattoo. Instead, we should define it as “complicit” vs. “anti-racist” and look at individual situations since no one is ever fully complicit or fully anti-racist.* For every 1 white person who believes black people are “severely discriminated” against, there are 5 who believe white people are the ones “severely discriminated” against* Racial differences appear more in ambiguous situations. In an experiment where a black person or white person is in need of aid and a white subject is the only one around, they help 88% of the time or the same for both races. But if there’s other people alone and the bystander effect comes into play, 75% help the white person vs. 37% help the black person.* 50% of white people see race as not helping or hurting them. But when asked if their race hurts their ability to get ahead, only 5% of white people indicate so v. 52% of black people.* The average black American is 25% “white” genetically* People’s skin tone is different because of the balancing act between UV protection and the ability to synthesize vitamin DWhat to do* Instead of thinking of “solving racism” as trying to boil the ocean, focus on boiling your individual pot and placing that in the ocean. If enough people boil their pots, eventually the ocean does boil.* The recipe to anti-racist beliefs is exposure that meets the following criteria 1) equal status 2) friendship potential 3) institutional sanction 4) common goals* Tribal affiliation (e.g. same major at a university, same university in a geographic area, same state in a country, same country in the world) is stronger than race. This makes sense because over evolution we were in hunter gatherer tribes with people of the same race, so the tribe is what mattered.* Since you can’t “not see” race, add multiple labels so you view people as an individual and not just the their race* Find counter stereotypes to reprogram yourself, such as prominently showing photos or books from people of color you see as role models* 7% of white people have no evidence of racial bias. A common theme is they have a more positive and secure view of themselves. By feeling they are worthy of love, they less succumb to the need to view others as lessor.* Speak up – When black people raise issues of discrimination they are seen as a complainer and viewed more negatively. But if a white person complains, the source of discrimination gets less defensive and more likely to change.* There are 4 types of organizational views of diversity: Toxic (actively push for divisions), Laissez-faire, (hire without regard to diversity attributes), pro-diversity on paper (say they want diversity but doesn’t show up in behavior), pro-diversity in practice (actually take action)

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  2. Kimberly Simmons

    After just receiving this book today, I am already a third of the way through! The real life personal stories that Dr. Livingston shares are very relatable and really helps the reader understand the method of the “conversation”. His storytelling makes you feel like you are there, as anyone who has been in corporate America, or been through training such as Dr. Livingston describes, can attest- we have all engaged with some of the characters that play a large part in his stories. I have read many books lately on antiracism who have the goal of trying to make people more aware of the problem. This is the first book that truly explains and shows how getting to know someone personally can make a huge difference in understanding one another, and having those difficult conversations in a respectful and meaningful way. This book is a very easy read, but also very timely – I highly recommend everyone from corporate CEOs, to middle management, to blue collar workers, frankly anyone who wants to see change to read this book. Looking forward to continuing on in this journey for solutions with Dr. Livingston!

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  3. Sister776

    This book is a good read linked with data and observations. I would recommend for anyone who wishes to view racism with a objective lens.

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  4. Jennifer Lerner

    As soon as this book came out I assigned portions of it to my Harvard class on Leadership Decision Making. This book weaves together three crucial strands: rigorously-tested evidence from psychological science, professional experience working with organizations, and highly-readable prose. The perfect combination. In addition, Professor Livingston’s charm and humanity shines through even as he sheds light on difficult, painful effects of racism.

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  5. Kafito

    What a shame that this book has not been more widely publicised. Granted it does not offer any ‘new’ ideas on how to conceive racism, its impacts and how it can be combated. However, this is an easy to read text explaining the relevant ideas and exploring (in a practical way) what can be done at both an individual and an organisational level. If I could afford it I would happily buy 50 copies and distribute them out to family, friends and work colleagues just to get them all thinking. It is not radical or polemical and tries very much to stick to the facts; it includes plenty of citations of the most relevant research. Highly recommended reading for anyone interested in racial biases and how we can begin to combat them.

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  6. Amazon Customer

    I experienced Dr. Livingston’s work through my HBS online course work. He is a positive force on the topic and forced me to think diferently as a Leader and person of color.

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  7. Onjale Scott

    Dr. Livingston uses his extensive experience, research and depth of knowledge to craft an impeccable ladder for readers to climb in their quest to transform themselves and their organizations. In the book, Dr. Livingston defines often misunderstood terms, such as ‘equality’ and ‘equity’, plainly explains why there is no ‘one size fits all’ when dealing with people and organizations, and provides clear links between the past and the present. Dr. Livingston articulates so very well how deeply engrained racism is into our culture, why we should care about it, and he gives hope that we can be part of changing ourselves and our organizations.This book should be a ‘must read’, specifically for organization leaders, and made part of the discussion in DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) trainings.

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  8. Booklover2

    Very straightforward and enlightening!

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  9. Amazon Customer

    By far, the most comprehensive book I’ve encountered about racism and how to combat it. I love that it’s an interactive read, as opposed to a book that just talks about the issues. I commend this author for giving people a methodical approach to doing their part (if they so wish) to make a positive impact on the entity of racism and underlying bias in society.

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  10. Rita Mitjans

    This book delivers as advertised! Dr. Livingston is a masterful communicator— Fact-based, informative and easy-to-read with concrete recommendations for how to talk about racism constructively and take steps in our own lives towards equity.

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  11. dlh

    Outstanding all around. Dr. Livingston patiently yet authoritatively walks us through the psychological realities that prime us for thinking that results in racism, which provides rich context for understanding our thinking and behaviors in an honest, but not threatening, way. This is such a meaningful read whether one has done extensive work exploring racism, or is new and perhaps wary of the contemporary discourse. (Side note: I read this via the library, hence why it may not show as a verified purchase. Just bought a copy to keep, though!)

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  12. DBussey

    As a psychologist and researcher I found the book providing a useable framework while drawing from the best research and data to support insights. As someone who is working to be a better human for other humans I found the book hopeful and inspiring. Highly recommend.

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  13. Amazon Customer

    Amazing book!

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  14. Jenny

    This book is a must own for anyone who is interested in having meaningful conversations about race-relations. As a social psychologist and academic, I greatly respected Dr. Livingston’s ability to discuss research findings in a clear and concise way that will “stick” with the average person. In fact, this book is so approachable that I plan to have my undergraduate students read it to give them a basic knowledge set on how to talk about race. Additionally, Dr. Livingston is able to weave his personal anecdotes as a world-renowned consultant to highlight the practical importance of the work he discusses. With diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) increasingly becoming critical areas of focus for organizations, heads of business and DEI practioners alike will find tremendous value in reading this book. What I perhaps appreciated most is Dr. Livingston’s hopeful message for bringing about real social change, especially during a dark time of division in our country.

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  15. TreHopLab

    This book is full of much needed tools to have critical conversations about race at work.

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  16. Timothy Christenfeld

    I have read a ton of books on racism, taken courses.. and so people ask me to recommend my top picks. This pops up to top 1-2 – it is the perfect complement to Wilkerson’s Caste which tackles the more structural side. This covers, in a highly accessible way, the human psychology of racism. ‘Why are we like this?’ It is also extraordinarily practical in how to use this understanding to address racism, how to embrace ‘the conversations’ that might move us forward. Plus it is beautifully and entertainingly written. A definite ‘must read’. The Audible audiobook is also superb.

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    The Conversation: How Talking Honestly About Racism Can Transform Individuals and Organizations
    The Conversation: How Talking Honestly About Racism Can Transform Individuals and Organizations

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