LEA 113: Leadership Training – Understanding Diversity In The Workplace

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Tyler Dockery celebrates Diversity with strong leadership
Tyler Dockery celebrates Diversity

LEA 113: Leadership Training – Understanding Diversity In The Workplace

In this third installment of the Leadership Training at Wake Tech Community College, our presenters – Noah Spencer and Shemika Bell – dropped some of the essentials to understanding diversity in the workplace on us.

“What is Diversity?” Truth be told, the answers may have been as various as the people, ethnicities, and even personalities in the room. Many people are afraid to state their definition for fear that they may do or say something wrong. This session aimed to make things clearer by opening a fear-free forum. Competencies addressed in this session included understanding diversity, gauging awareness of diversity, and promoting equality and diversity.

We opened with some exercises using our Jung Typologies ( I am an INTJ “mastermind” ) and a brief rewind of our emotional intelligence training. It was nice to see that this was still important information to consider.

Barriers to Understanding Diversity

  • Denial of Issues
  • Lack of Awareness/Trust
  • Fear of Offending/Being seen as…
  • Intercultural Differences
    • Communication Styles
    • Concepts of Time
    • Concepts of Power

 

“We all have a seat at the table”
Annie Holmes

Recognizing, Understanding, and Valuing Differences

Inclusivity: Looking at our practices and procedures to ensure all have equal access and opportunities

Inclusive Excellence: A framework that incorporates achieving excellence through diversity and inclusive efforts

 

The Four Layers of Diversity aka The Diversity Wheel

  • Functional Level/ Classification
  • Geographic Location
  • Age
  • Personality
  • Physical
  • Ability
  • Educational
  • Background
  • Work Location
  • Seniority
  • Union
  • Affiliation
  • Division
  • Depart./
  • Unit/
  • Group
  • Work
  • Content/
  • Field
  • Management
  • Status
  • Marital
  • Status
  • Parental
  • Status
  • Appearance
  • Income
  • Personal
  • Habits
  • Recreational
  • Habits
  • Religion
  • Work
  • Experience
  • Race
  • Ethnicity
  • Sexual
  • Orientation
  • Gender

Honstly, there were so many of these that I simply could not keep up. I can type 45 words per minute, and it simply wasn’t long enough for the slides

  • Internal Dimensions
  • External Dimensions
  • Organizational Dimensions
  • Intercultural Differences
  • Communication Styles
  • Concepts of Time
  • Concepts of Power

 

What Does Diversity Mean?

AFFIRMING PEOPLE: Treating everyone respectfully, regardless of how you feel about their culture or lifestyle.

CONFRONTING BEHAVIOR

  • Jokes negative remarks
  • Not seeing omissions
  • Challenging stereotypes and fears.

SHIFTING CULTURAL NORMS / VALUES

  • Identifying barriers to:
    • women
    • people of color
    • people with disabilities
    • others who experience discrimination.
  • Creating an environment that removes barriers and extends cooperation.

 

Diversity Tips

  • Understand that diversity exists.
  • Acknowledge your own stereotypes and assumptions.
  • Develop consciousness and acceptance of your own cultural background and style.
  • Respect both the similarities and differences about people.
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