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The Uh-Oh Syndrome

From Intolerance to Inclusion
Video Previews

The “Uh-Oh Syndrome” is the negative reaction we can experience when we encounter something or someone different. The reaction is, in some ways, a natural human response, but in a world with increasing diversity and non-stop change, we need to strive for open-mindedness and inclusion. This program shows how.

Runtime: 28 Minutes
  • Chaptered DVD or USB with Bonus Segments
  • Leader’s Guide
  • Reproducible Participant Handouts
  • PowerPoint Slides
Key Learning Points:
  • Explains cultural and scientific factors that lead good people to be closed-minded
  • Teaches people how to become more open-minded and inclusive
  • Helps organizations utilize diversity to improve innovation


Dr. Steve Robbins is one of today’s leading diversity and inclusion experts. Widely known for his thought-provoking stories, humor and practical application of principles from neurobiology and sociology, Robbins tackles tough topics in a way that is entertaining, understandable and non-threatening.

In this program, he explains that while certain cultural and neuro-biological forces compel us to be closed-minded towards anything new or different, we have it in our power to overcome these influences so that we can comfortably entertain new ideas and be more accepting of those who differ from us.

He also introduces the concept of “mental models”, explaining where they come from and why we hate it so much when we encounter things that don’t fit those models.

Specifically, he covers:

The part culture plays in the development of our mental models (background, experiences, values)

The part science plays in the development of our mental models (how the brain’s instinct to operate on an “efficiency principle” causes us to love our comfort zones)

How multiple redundant messages received from culture, and mindlessness caused by our brain’s efficiency, lead us to have “unintentional intolerance” (where our actions are driven by instinct rather than a thoughtful assessment of what is valid)

Robbins introduces two things people can do to move from intolerance to inclusion:

1. Be more mindful and less mindless (“change your scripts”)

2. Ask “what if?” more often; understand that you can entertain new ideas without necessarily having to accept them

In the conclusion, viewers are reminded that diversity equals strength. Since none of us can know everything…the more we include the opinions and ideas of others, the better our organizations will be at innovation and problem solving.

Bonus Footage features stories from Steve that shed further light on some of the video’s key topics including: Duct Tape, Eat Your Vegetables, and Mini-Vans. A Q&A Session is also included.