“Twenty-one years ago, I founded a sales training and consultancy practice,” Buki Mosaku writes, at the beginning of his new book. “My aim was to provide customizable sales methodologies that cut through convoluted, psychological theory to give organizations and their sales teams pragmatic, results-oriented sales solutions. Ultimately, I wanted to offer easy-to-implement, straightforward strategies that led to results… The trick to getting the best out of this book is simple: approach it with an open mind, so that when the inevitable happens — when you’re confronted with what you know (or think) is unconscious bias — you’ll be comfortable adapting your response to achieve a good result for yourself and others.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: https://bukimosaku.com/
So begins the aptly titled “I Don’t Understand”: Navigating Unconscious Bias in the Workplace. Mosaku sets himself apart, and more importantly helps get the message across succinctly because he shows, rather than tells, what he speaks of. This is particularly effective given the subject matter of the book — which is all about something, depending on your point of view, that can be glossed over and taken for granted by some, and for others is an everyday reality to navigate. Mosaku writes in a clinical, unemotional house style, yet not devoid of empathy and a compassionate undertone. His presentation is straightforward, concise, and makes a lot of sense.
“The solution to the problem in the workplace is not for the traditional perpetrator to change how they think and behave in isolation. The solution is for both the traditional and untraditional perpetrators and victims to collaboratively navigate inevitable bias using the most effective interpersonal skills and tools,” he states. “…This book is for anyone who works in a diverse workforce or within a diverse team. Today, all teams are diverse, whether based on ethnicity, age, family make-up, sexual orientation, gender, physical ability, invisible disabilities, region, socioeconomic background, personalities, or a combination. In essence, if you work for an organization with an office, factory, retail outlet, or virtual connection to others, this book is for you. And while it may show itself differently in a virtual-first workplace, the topic of diversity is still front and center. As more organizations hire candidates in remote locations, the possibility for an increasingly diverse workplace grows.”
This kind of optimistic approach is something you don’t usually see. Appropriately books focusing on these topics magnify sobering aspects of an entity that doesn’t implement, or actively avoids taking responsibility for unconscious bias practices. Mosaku doesn’t shy away from highlighting the pitfalls if one doesn’t do the work, and navigate the process in the manner he advocates for. But he does so in a way that isn’t divisive, or alienating to any party. Rather, this is something that should make the reader feel empowered.
Together, as Mosaku writes in the aforementioned quote, the path forward to a net benefit for all rests upon everyone taking responsibility for being aware of what causes unconscious bias, and using that awareness to pragmatic ends to address those concerns. Judgment and shame isn’t the ace Mosaku uses, which even some of the best writers on these topics can defer to. He simply tells it like it is, and in doing so services the objective necessities that much more effectively.