Making the Embracing of Diversity, Cool
Copyright © 2010 by Ty Howard. All rights reserved.
As more and more employees from diverse backgrounds populate businesses across America, the need increases to identify effective methods to teach employees - on all levels - how to welcome and embrace Diversity. Many organizations are working hard to educate everyone inside their workplace on race, gender, language, disabilities, religion, physical appearance, sexual orientation, nationality, multiculturalism, competency, training, experience, acceptance, personal habits, and many other characteristics of Diversity.
A great challenge for many organizations today is their people tend to only want to do and embrace trends that are popular and deemed cool. To Make the Embracing of D.I.V.E.R.S.I.T.Y. "A Cool Thing to Do" inside your work environment, start by promoting and selling employees on mastering the healthy habit of Digging another person’s Individuality, Voice, Energy, Relationships, Style, Ideas, Talent, and Yearning to be their unique self.
UrbanDictionary.com defines Digging: Liking, finding inspiration in.
To be effective in a diverse work environment, employees must have an appreciation for Diversity. They must view differences as the “norm” in society and reject the notions that any one group is more competent or superior than another.
The concept of Diversity encompasses acceptance and respect. It means understanding that each individual is unique, and recognizing our individual differences. These can be along the dimensions of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical abilities, religious beliefs, political beliefs, or other ideologies.
Employees must understand that Diversity includes not only ways of being but ways of hearing and listening. There will be many languages, opinions and differences communicated inside your organization as it becomes more and more diverse. To have Diversity issues inside your workplace is not a bad thing. Doing nothing about it given you have knowledge of the issue is where many businesses go wrong (negligence).
Remember: Diversity has many voices. Create a work environment that works to drop all stereotypes, biases and hatred, and opens up to positive and progressive dialogue. Do not allow these voices to become silenced or ignored because your organization decided to cover its ears on the voices of Diversity.
Each individual inside your organization brings with them a unique and empowering energy that helps pump the overall pulse of the company.
Everyone needs to welcome the power of Diversity because it enriches your work environment, and provides social and economic benefits to all inside the workplace.
Diverse relationships are an important component of a functioning society and, arguably, an even more vital component for business success. As our world becomes more diversified due to increased immigration and globalization, making businesses more ethnically diverse, relationships—as employee and employee, as employee and manager, as employee and executive, as manager and executive, as employee and customer—between individuals with different ethnicities, values, religious beliefs, preferences and cultures become more commonplace.
Diverse relationships can lead to a greater understanding of other ethnic groups and cultures. This could potentially aid in greater equality and tolerance for all inside your organization.
We are all different, we are all unique, but all of us are human. Every individual has his or her own style (image); way of thinking, speaking, seeing, listening, dressing, walking, behaving, and interacting with others. And although there is discrimination and inequality in the world we live in, we should always fight for the right to uphold and express our unique style in both a civil and non-threatening way.
Our Diversity as a human race is one of our greatest strengths, and all businesses should dedicate themselves to teaching it, understanding it, celebrating it, and embracing it.
Imagine what your organization would be like if it were filled with people who thought alike. The narrow scope of ideas will ultimately lead to an unsuccessful business experience that will often result in the loss of both time and money for all. Diversity – throughout an entire business – is a valuable asset that encourages everyone to expand their horizons and think outside of the box. Success coincides with the deployment of diverse thinkers with unique talents.
All employees have talents, regardless of their cultural or linguistic background, ability or disability, gender or race. If employees discover that the company they chose to work at is not an open-minded and safe environment for them to showcase their unique talents, many will stop trying due to a history of failure or hostile response.
Make sure your organization is one where everyone is encouraged and safe to showcase their unique talents. If you need to create special and unique programs, events or opportunities for some to do so, then create them. Engage in practices that include rather than exclude employees from different backgrounds. By so doing, you promote and fulfill the responsibility inside your organization for ensuring that everyone will have safe and favorable opportunities to develop, showcase and celebrate their unique talents.
Yearning — to be their unique self.
"Diversity" means more than just acknowledging and/or tolerating difference. Diversity is the conscious understanding and acceptance that everyone yearns to be their unique self.
Think of each person as just that—a person, an individual with feelings. Encourage all within your organization to not take part in racism, hate crimes, bullying, jokes, negative stories, sarcasm or mean-spirited remarks. Instead, educate and empower everyone to treat every individual equally regardless of their race, gender, religion, disabilities, age, nationality, culture, preferences, socio-economic status, or background.
Become an Ambassador of "It’s Cool with Me to Be Your Unique Self." Speak out and take civil action when access is denied to someone based on any characteristic of Diversity. And never take action out of pity or feeling sorry for someone, take action because you know and believe that it’s the Cool and RIGHT thing to do!
As the economy becomes increasingly global, our businesses and workforce will become increasingly diverse. Organizational success and competitiveness will depend on your organization’s ability to welcome and manage Diversity – across the entire company – effectively. One upbeat and positive method to help you accomplish this goal is to—Make the Embracing of D.I.V.E.R.S.I.T.Y. "A Cool Thing to Do" inside your organization, starting today.
About the Author: Ty Howard,
Mr. Untie the Knots®,
Freeing Maximal Business, Performance, and Human Potential Daily
Ty Howard is an internationally recognized authority on organizational and managerial practices that optimize employee performance and success. He is the creator and lead facilitator of the trademarked "Untie the Knots® Optimal Performance Process," and the author of Untie the Knots®: Improving Habits, Choices, People, Relationships, Performance and Results, as well as dozens of published articles on employee and organizational performance and development worldwide. For information on his programs and services, visit: http://www.tyhoward.com.
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