Tony Chatman: Bias

In today’s show of Words with Friends, Phil interviews Tony Chatman. As a much sought-after speaker, Tony helps organizations and individuals facilitate complex conversations around diversity and inclusion both at work and in personal life.

Our topic for today’s show is the word, “Bias”.

For the longest time, Tony deliberately steered away from talking about unconscious bias and diversity & inclusion. Being a Black guy, Tony was not sure how he would be perceived – and whether he would be able to get the right message across to his audience.

Since he was a young boy, Tony has encountered bias that comes with being a Black man. From being told by parents that he had to dress better and be smarter than the crowd to make it in life to being constantly judged by total strangers, Tony shares various incidents that showcase our insensitive and flawed attitude.

Tony points out that, contrary to our perception, we are not nearly as objective as we think when we are dealing with people of a different color, gender, religion, and race. We have some deeply ingrained prejudices that tend to manifest in some form of fashion.

When you go out on the street, how often do you think that someone is safe simply because they “look safe”? Are you more likely to hire someone just because they “look like you”? Or, when you see a woman in a high position, is your first thought that she was hired because of affirmative action?

So, how can we realize our flaws and make decisions that are correct from a scientific and human standpoint?

“If you want to make a difference, you need our voice and not just our face”

At this juncture, we also talk a bit about the Black Lives Matter movement and how it is affecting our behavior and decision making.

Given the intense conversations triggered by this movement, there are many leaders and organizations that want to be seen doing the right thing. But, this box-ticking approach does not help us get closer to our objective of creating a truly inclusive workplace. 

So, how can leadership approach unconscious bias in a truly authentic way? Is it really possible to eliminate bias completely?

We discuss the importance of creating a safe work environment where people of color feel comfortable giving feedback.

Other topics discussed in today’s show include increased exposure for eliminating bias, affinity bias, and cultivating accountability at the workplace.

Listen to this thought-provoking show now! 

What You Will Learn In This Show

  • How to make people more aware of their biases
  • How to make a conscious effort to overcome your bias
  • How can leadership approach unconscious bias in a truly authentic way
  • And so much more…


“There are flaws in our decision-making process that keeps us from being accurate and objective”
“You have to dress better than other people to be viewed as equal. You have to be smarter than other people to be viewed as their equal”
“Black people are more aware, sophisticated, and more nuanced than you give them credit for”
“If you want to make a difference, you need our voice and not just our face”
“If you are going to ask for input, you can’t be defensive”
“As a black male, I have spent my entire life making white people feel safe around me”
“People can tell the difference between a sincere mistake and a malicious mistake”.
“If a person brings up something, we are doing so trusting that you are good enough to receive it”.


Find out more about Tony Chatman here:

Season 4

Season 3

Season 2

Season 1

Your host:
Phil M Jones

Phil M Jones has made it his life’s work to demystify the sales process, reframe what it means to “sell,” and help his audiences to learn new skills that empower confdence, overcome fears and instantaneously impact their results.