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Publisher's Summary

Foreword by Laszlo Bock, the best-selling author of Work Rules! and former senior vice president of People Operations at Google.

An inspiring guide from Dolly Chugh, an award-winning social psychologist at the New York University Stern School of Business, on how to confront difficult issues including sexism, racism, inequality, and injustice so that you can make the world (and yourself) better.

Many of us believe in equality, diversity, and inclusion. But how do we stand up for those values in our turbulent world? The Person You Mean to Be is the smart, "semi-bold" person’s guide to fighting for what you believe in.

Dolly reveals the surprising causes of inequality, grounded in the "psychology of good people". Using her research findings in unconscious bias as well as work across psychology, sociology, economics, political science, and other disciplines, she offers practical tools to respectfully and effectively talk politics with family, to be a better colleague to people who don’t look like you, and to avoid being a well-intentioned barrier to equality. Being the person we mean to be starts with a look at ourselves.

She argues that the only way to be on the right side of history is to be a good-ish - rather than good - person. Good-ish people are always growing. Second, she helps you find your "ordinary privilege" - the part of your everyday identity you take for granted, such as race for a white person, sexual orientation for a straight person, gender for a man, or education for a college graduate. This part of your identity may bring blind spots, but it is your best tool for influencing change. Third, Dolly introduces the psychological reasons that make it hard for us to see the bias in and around us. She leads you from willful ignorance to willful awareness. Finally, she guides you on how, when, and whom, to engage (and not engage) in your workplaces, homes, and communities. Her science-based approach is a method any of us can put to use in all parts of our life.

Whether you are a long-time activist or new to the fight, you can start from where you are. Through the compelling stories Dolly shares and the surprising science she reports, Dolly guides each of us closer to being the person we mean to be.

©2018 Dolly Chugh (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about The Person You Mean to Be

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    5 out of 5 stars

Best “How-to” guide!

Every page, every chapter was a learning experience as well as hope-providing. Dolly is a wonderful writer - capable of connecting science and information to personal storytelling. I’ve dogeared a hard copy and found this Audible version very much a daily standard for me. Anyone who claims to care about their neighbors and desire a more positive world should read this book today.

3 people found this helpful

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Prepare to be surprised…and uncomfortable

Most of us want to make the world a better, fairer place, fighting bias of all types. Most of us do not think we’re part of the problem. But we are, even if we don’t mean to be. Dolly Chugh’s book will show you many examples of how systemic bias plays out in real life and most importantly, what you can do about it.

Chugh makes an important distinction at the outset, between believers and builders, with the former having a fixed mindset and the latter having a growth mindset (see the work of Carol Dweck). Many of us are believers, not as many builders. And before you allow your defense mechanisms to kick in, know that a good deal of bias happens in the subconscious.

Opt for willful awareness instead of willful ignorance. If we don’t see the problem, or don’t believe it applies to us, we can’t make it better. And there lies the conundrum. But with a bit of effort, you can recognize your own blind spots and use your privilege to the benefit of others.

We’re all part of various organizations, our local communities, our global village. Try to see the world through the eyes of others. In our connected world, it is easier to do this now than ever before. But you must make the effort to do so.
This is an extraordinary book, really ground breaking. It may make you uncomfortable at times, but change / progress is like that.

5 people found this helpful

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Amazing

I love that it includes life experiences and research

This looks at the perspective of people, their experiences, their humanity it covers it all.

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Wonderfully explains feelings I have and I have work to do

As a black man I've felt all kinds of things inside that I couldn't actually articulate until I read this book.

The book is well organized and breaks down how to think about bias and allyship. Packed with science, humor, and stories it delivers amazing content.

Dolly's humor and willingness to share her bad moments really halp this book land.

If you think you have room for improvement when it comes to bias (Spoiler: we all do). I highly recommend this book.

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Great Book Read Robotically

Pro: The writing and the meaning! The message of this book is so important, and it's well conveyed in the writing. Clearly a very good book, well worth the read. References other materials that are worth checking out, as well.
Con: The delivery. The narration is so robotic. I stopped and started through 5 chapters, but just couldn't finish the audiobook. It sounds like Siri reading an instruction manual.

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Great book and blueprint for a mindset change

The narration and the content were impressive. At the end, I was motivated to know more, to do more, and to make sure I kept working on being a “builder”.

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Horrible Robot Voice

The introduction and preface were read by real people, the actual people. The rest of the book was read by a robot. This should not have come to pass. They should not even have been a choice. It’s impossible to understand because it is not a fluent voice. Absolute waste of money for an otherwise amazing book.

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For everyone

Everyone should listen to this. If you’ve been working in the area on Inclusion the last section gives really actionable ideas of how to affect change. It really is ‘how good people fight bias’

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Excellent resource

Read this if you want to shift from being a culturally responsive believer to a builder.

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The Person You Mean to Be

Listening to The Person You Mean To Be was eye opening for me. As a Black woman I ready for the non Woke people get it like yesterday. However, this book educated me that there 60% of the people that are sitting on the fence need a voice of reason and patience.

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  • Exerciser UK
  • 08-18-20

Enjoyable and thought provoking

This book is full of practical ideas and suggestions for how we can take action to make the world a fairer place. Towards the end of the book, in particular, there's plenty of advice on how to confront prejudiced people and which battles to pick and which to leave. There's also interesting advice on how to support others. I'll definitely read this again and make notes. It's an easy listen and the stories the author shares bring the scientific research to life.