And bring about real change in your organization.
We have all read the research that confirms the organizational benefits of diversity. Your leaders know that diverse teams and organizations are more creative, solve problems better, and ultimately perform better financially. Perhaps you have shared with managers and employees alike the most common biases present in the workplace. However most organizations are not making real progress towards inclusion in their organizations.
One way to address this issue is to introduce the concept of “continuous constructive dialogue,” where we talk about, not in a narrow sense only about race and gender, but in a wide sense about how to embrace all differences. Let’s not apply discussions in a silo approach — for managers only — but let’s go wide to all employees and apply a collective effort to this challenge.
Let’s go deeper too, not by forcing non-prejudice concepts upon employees but rather have individuals personally choose freely how they can be more connected to themselves and their social world.
One of our clients engaged an entire department in 3-hour workshops for all managers and employees, where spirited debate ensued about the challenges and value of an inclusive organizational culture, stories of exclusion were shared, and the teams co-authored a common language about how to talk about this topic among each other and with their managers.
The result — more people are talking to each other about cultural differences, personal preferences, and sharing stories about how they are choosing to be more accepting of differences. This continuous constructive dialogue is producing shorter meetings, better collaboration, and has created teams whose members matter to one another, because they’re part of the same in-group pursuing the same interests. The common identity has been instrumental in reducing the impact of biases department-wide and in their personal lives.
So just what can your organization do to help your teams be more accepting of differences and manage their biases? Encourage your managers to discuss these 4 questions with their teams:
We can help you set the stage for having the tough conversations around diversity, inclusion, and biases, and bring change to your team and organization. Are you ready to build continuous constructive dialogue at your organization? Our Embracing Diversity Workshops are offered off-the-shelf or highly customized to best fit your needs. Let’s talk!