Unwritten Rules2017-10-31T15:00:39+00:00

Unwritten Rules

This deeply impactful and thought proving exercise has teams look at where bias is lurking in some of the often well-intentioned actions that impact adversely on the working environment and careers at your company.

Participants work in table groups moving between three scenarios enabling each group to view and experience thoughts from other participants, diving deeper where the issues are impacting and finally move into mitigation and practical actions to address.


With participants seated at tables the room is split into groups of three tables each. Participants will move between these three tables throughout the three rounds with 15 minutes at each round.

The facilitator will introduce the session, refer briefly back to some of the key tools and techniques presented during the earlier awareness session.

The sessions work well using paper tablecloths where each group captures the discussion points and continues the theme at the next table. Equally, exercise sheets can be used.

Customised Delivery            Duration

Face to Face                                        2 Hours
Virtual                                                   2 Hour Session

Who Will Benefit?  

Any employee will benefit from this class.

Related Programmes

  • Building Inclusion for Line Managers
  • Sustained & Measurable Embedding Programmes
  • Masterclass for D&I Professionals
  • Masterclass for HR Professionals
  • Masterclass for Recruiting Professionals
  • Unconscious Bias Awareness

Round One – The Unwritten Rules

  • What unwritten rules do you recognise where you work?
  • What biases do you think underpin them?

Round Two – Delving Deeper

  • Choose one situation from your discussions.
  • What impact do the identified biases / unwritten rules have?

 Round 3 – Make it Real

  • What can you do differently, individually and collectively, to address the undesirable effects in your chosen scenario? This section may be framed in the overall context of your 2020 D&I strategy and roadmap.

Your company may notice some of these unwritten rules appear:

  • There is a strong bias for our way of doing things… and tenure is highly valued
  • We expect everyone to be connected and to respond to messages 24/7
  • Presenteeism – if you don’t put the hours in you are seen as not being committed
  • The opinions of those who speak first and speak often are most highly valued
  • Those from particular departments don’t appreciate / understand / value the opinions of those in other departments. For example, perhaps sales people don’t appreciate technical people and vice versa
  • When in customer meetings we talk mainly to, and make more eye contact with, the person who appears to be the most senior
  • We always hold conference calls during Head Office core hours, which means those in other time zones are always expected to participate outside of core hours
  • All new ideas are generated at HQ and they don’t involve the regions from the beginning
  • Those with caring responsibilities tend not to be invited to team social events
  • Our Monday morning meetings always start with a discussion about the latest sports results
  • When we recruit, we prefer candidates that have worked for specific companies
  • We overlook the potential with a particular customer because a ‘similar’ one several months back wasted a lot of our time
  • When dealing with a customer support call we find ourselves being more / or less sympathetic to people who have a particular accent