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Once & For All: Stopping Sexual Harassment at Work

Archive for the ‘Diversity’ Category

3 Ways to Defuse Diversity-Related Conflicts in the Workplace

Friday, May 5th, 2017

Diversity-related tension in the workplace is a common occurrence, whether you work with just a few people or have teams of hundreds all across the globe. Small tensions can simmer into large conflicts, so it’s important to provide diversity training to employees so that they know how to defuse diversity-related conflicts before they boil over.

In the workplace, “diversity moments” happen when differences in culture, experience, and expectations affect our relationships or understanding of a situation. They are often based in cross-cultural misunderstandings when a meaning that exists in one culture is interpreted differently in another.

Diversity training programs – and even communication skills videos – that present realistic scenarios and concrete steps for handling these “diversity moments”, are a great resource for combating workplace conflicts about diversity. Here are 3 ways to address diversity-related conflicts.

Explore and Acknowledge Differences

When in the midst of a diversity conflict, it’s important to explore others’ viewpoints, and not assume that you know it all. Quickly explain the situation or concern from your perspective, then invite the other person’s perspective. Use phrases like “The way I see this is….” or “How do you look at this?” Then, reframe what you’ve heard the other person explain with something like, “If I understand what you are saying…”.

Diversity and communication skills video recommendation: M.E.E.T. Breaking New GroundCovers how to manage dynamics and create a respectful workplace by focusing on the respect & inclusion component of diversity.

Assess Intent Cautiously

In the heat of the moment, it’s easy to assume that someone else INTENDED to be hurtful, mean, rude, or even racist. But diversity training teaches us to assess others’ intent cautiously: don’t jump to conclusions about that person’s intent. Think about a time when you made an assumption about someone’s attitude or intent and turned out to be wrong (or when someone misjudged your intent).

Diversity and communication skills video recommendation: Gateways to Inclusion Dr. Sondra Thiederman teaches skills that turn moments of diversity tension into “gateways” for increased understanding and improved relationships.

Speak Up Without Blame or Guilt

If a “diversity moment” occurs where you hear someone stereotype another person, or say something demeaning, speak up. If you stay silent, other people may interpret your silence as support for the hurtful comment or action.

When you speak up, make sure you do it without blaming the speaker or trying to make them feel guilty. Remember in the point above – don’t assume that person intended harm; instead, give them the benefit of the doubt and ask a question (like, “I’m not sure I caught that; what were you saying?”), explain the impact of what they said (“I know you meant that to be funny, but it hurts.”), or try to broaden their remark to universal human behavior, like (“I don’t think that’s really a ‘woman thing’; I think that applies to both men and women.”). These steps can help defuse a diversity conflict before it really gets started.  

Diversity and communication skills video recommendation: Ouch! That Stereotype HurtsIn a powerful way, this program depicts the impact stereotypical comments have on others. Practical techniques for speaking up are provided.

Respecting Diversity in the Workplace Starts with Education

Monday, January 30th, 2017

There are many different aspects to teaching respect for diversity in the workplace, and there are compelling diversity videos that cover all of them.Four Generations diversity video

 

With today’s global business dealings and diverse workforces, dealing with people “different” than you is inevitable. Some employees find this easy and are naturally more comfortable with “others,” while some employees need coaching or training on how to be respectful and inclusive of others. Learning respect for diverse coworkers (and customers, vendors, etc.) starts with workplace diversity training.

 

If you need to teach general diversity awareness, begin with skills like recognizing stereotypes, avoiding negative, discriminatory behavior, and teaching employees to find similarities between themselves and people different than them. Also, it’s helpful to coach employees to see the personal and organizational benefits of having diverse viewpoints, experiences, cultures and lifestyles at work, and to use that new perspective to build unity in your teams.

 

Diversity video recommendation: Diversity: Face to Face teaches four aspects of diversity awareness, all presented through stories of characters who live and work in a diverse world.

 

Generational differences are a particular concern for many organizations, as most of us are now working with 4 or 5 generations at once. This can lead to unique tensions and conflicts in teams when people perceive the work styles of generations other than theirs as different or “less than.” Help employees learn basic general characteristics (not stereotypes) of each generation, and this will help to build understanding of, and tolerance for, employees of all ages.

 

Diversity video recommendation: Four Generations: The Greatest Potential features vignettes depicting inter-generational conflict and shows how these events, when properly handled, lead to increased understanding.

 

Teaching inclusion goes a step beyond basic diversity awareness and just being respectful of others, to encouraging employees to include others in activities, teams, decision-making, and conversations. Inclusion begins with understanding how our brains work, and how even nice people can engage in unintentional intolerance and exclusion. Employees must learn to critically examine their thinking, assumptions, and perceptions to become more open-minded and inclusive of others at work.

 

Diversity video recommendation: Inclusion Insights: Stereotypes, Lazy Brains, and Unintentional Intolerance. Dr. Steve Robbins uses humor and storytelling to help people examine preconceptions and commit to being more open to different ways of thinking.

 

Workplace diversity training is a vital step to teaching employees to respect diversity, and become more tolerant and inclusive of others. Whether it’s learning about diversity awareness, generational diversity or inclusion, diversity videos are a great way to depict realistic workplace scenarios and model proper courtesy and respectful behavior.

Empowering Employees By Teaching Respect in the Workplace

Friday, October 28th, 2016

There are many skills, behaviors and rules that employees must be taught on-the-job, but few will yield higher returns than teaching them how to demonstrate respect in the workplace. Employees who learn to see differences and diversity as a strength (not a source of conflict) are much more apt to support their fellow employees.  Collaboration and mutual respect become the norm and employees feel empowered to protect and even build on the spirit of inclusion.

Providing respectful workplace training is the key to teaching these behaviors to all employees – from managers to individual contributors.

Become More Tolerantrespect-in-the-workplace

In today’s world, many people look and act differently than you do. They come from different backgrounds, parts of the world, have different religions and sexual orientations, or perhaps they simply weigh more (or less) than you do. To have true respect in the workplace, we must learn to be tolerant of all co-workers (and even vendors and customers). After all, if you discriminate against one of your co-workers for reasons other than performance, how can you credibly evaluate or support their work? This kind of intolerance undermines everyone’s performance because it harms the team. Respectful workplace training will teach employees that they shouldn’t judge others based on appearance, personal background or life choices.

Respect Each Other’s Perspectives

Anyone who’s ever worked in an organization knows you don’t always get along with your co-workers or agree with everything they say, even the ones you like. Nevertheless, it’s important to respect co-workers’ unique perspectives and knowledge when we don’t agree. Different points-of-view are crucial to today’s organizations. If we surround ourselves with people who think and act like we do, we will become insulated from change and new ideas. Instead, we should seek out people who think differently than we do; their input will often improve the result we’re trying to achieve.

Encourage and Support Others

Another way to demonstrate respect in the workplace is by teaching employees to encourage and support one another. We all feel the urge, at one time or another, to put others down or become critical of their work. However, there are ways to offer constructive criticism without diminishing someone’s creativity or motivation, and whenever possible, offer praise and encouragement instead. Another way to support and respect fellow team members is to make sure everyone feels included and like they belong, so invite people to participate in teams or committees, ask if someone would like to join you for coffee or lunch, and seek out the input of those who don’t usually speak up.

CRM Learning offers many respectful workplace training videos, including The Respectful Workplace: It Starts With You. This video models the day-to-day employee behaviors that help build a positive, supportive and inclusive workplace.

Having Productive Conversations in a Diverse Workplace

Friday, September 16th, 2016

By now we’ve all heard the amazing benefits of diversity in the workplace – more creative ideas and problem-solving, and employees’ varied backgrounds and experiences that drive innovation and make a company more representative of the markets they serve. But, when diverse teams of people work closely together, there is an increase in the potential for conflict, misunderstandings, and greater tension. Using good workplace communication skills can help employees to shift those tense moments into respectful conversations and greater understanding of one another.rick-harry_sm

Here are some examples of tense diversity-related moments that can happen at work:
• You witness an act or hear a joke or comment that is disrespectful.

  • Someone treats you in a way that appears to be biased.
  • You say or do something that inadvertently offends someone.
  • You witness someone else being falsely accused of bias.
  • You are uncomfortable because of the differences between you and someone else.

It’s important in these moments to first manage how you feel. Acknowledge whatever emotion you are feeling and accept it. Name the emotion. Naming a feeling has an uncanny way of making it more manageable. Once you’ve stopped, taken a moment to breathe and become aware of your feelings, decide whether your emotion will help or hurt your chance of having a productive conversation with the other person. If you think it will hurt your chances, walk away for a moment to cool down and clear your head.

Once you’re prepared to talk, communicate in a way that demonstrates respect. This starts by not assuming or assigning intent to the other person’s actions. Remember what it feels like to have someone incorrectly assume they know why you did something, and try to offer the other person the same open mind you wish you’d been afforded in the past. Give them the benefit of the doubt, and then engage them in respectful conversation to assess their intent.

Have the dialogue in private to maintain dignity and increase openness in the conversation. Use respectful phrases to start the dialogue like “I’d like to understand,” or “Do you have a minute to talk about it?” or “Thanks for telling me.” Then share what you’re feeling and listen with genuine engagement to the other person’s point of view. Honor the other person’s right to feel the way they do, even though you may not agree or understand them. Keep the dialogue open and moving towards mutual understanding and, hopefully, resolution.

With diversity in the workplace at an all-time high, there are more chances for diversity-related tension and misunderstandings to cause hurt feelings, embarrassment, anger and resentment. But workplace communication that is productive and respectful can heal relationships, help us to know each other better as individuals and colleagues, and help reduce the biases that create so many problems in the workplace. Finally, if we can communicate with each other even when there is tension, we help create a workplace that is more harmonious, open, productive and ripe for innovation.

Gateways to Inclusion: Turning Tense Moments into Productive Conversations teaches skills that turn moments of diversity-related tension into “gateways” for increased understanding and improved relationships. This video program explains that opening such a gateway to conversation — and holding it open, rather than slamming it shut in fear or anger — has immeasurable benefits.

Build Stronger Workplace Teams with Generational Diversity Training

Friday, June 17th, 2016

Bridging the generation gap in the workplace can seem like a daunting task. For instance, team building training can be difficult when you have multiple generations on a work team. Luckily, CRM Learning offers generational diversity training that also strengthens teams, including the video Please Respect My Generation!”.

Why is generational diversity training important?

Generational respect imageToday, you could have as many as five different generations in the workplace, each with their own opinions about other generations. Since generational stereotypes can be just as disrespectful as cultural and ethnic ones, it’s important to train employees about generational diversity so they learn to communicate better, deal with change, and develop a more respectful workplace.

Please Respect My Generation!” teaches how to bridge the generation gap amongst coworkers and translate age differences into an advantage. Viewers will learn the dos and don’ts of working with multiple generations. In this training video, you will hear from 5 different generations as they discuss their own generational traits and those of the co-workers they encounter daily. After completing this training, your employees will know how to communicate with various generations effectively and respectfully. Viewers will see that different generations offer a wealth of knowledge in different areas, and they will learn to understand and empathize with colleagues from a different generation.

Not only does “Please Respect My Generation!” bridge the generation gap, but it also encourages team building. No matter the level, role or generation of your employees, team building is essential for a productive, communicative workplace. “Please Respect My Generation” has the ability to tackle both topics in 23 minutes. Your employees will walk away with a greater capacity for collaboration and cross-generational understanding in the workplace.

Get your copy of “Please Respect My Generation!” and create a respectful, productive environment at work. CRM Learning provides the best training videos at the lowest prices. Visit our website and learn about our team building training videos.

5 Ways Diversity Training in the Workplace Dramatically Improves Organizational Results

Wednesday, December 16th, 2015

Diversity training is essential when it comes to educating employees on the best ways to build a workplace where everyone feels respected and appreciated for what they have to offer. Creating a positive work environment through diversity training can dramatically improve your organizational results: here’s how.

How Workplace Diversity Training Improves Organizational Results

  1. Diversity Training Improves Teamwork: The most effective teams include people of varying backgrounds and beliefs; individuals who come together to share ideas and use their collective strengths to make things happen. Differences in who we are, where we’re from, and how we live can keep a team from gelling; or, they can make the team much stronger. Workplace diversity training reminds employees that a variety of experiences and perspectives can lead to breakthroughs in team problem solving and innovation.  When diverse people are encouraged and empowered to work together as a team, differences are set aside in pursuit of shared goals.
  1. Diversity Training Leads to Inclusion: In the workplace, as in life, people often have the tendency to stay within their “comfort zone” (or, to avoid people and ideas that strike them as out of the ordinary).  Through diversity training, we are reminded that when we show others the respect and consideration we ourselves expect to be shown, we are able to make connections and build healthy business relationships. By accepting and engaging with people we otherwise might have avoided, we build an inclusive environment where everyone feels they belong and where people are allowed to give their best effort.
  1. Diversity Training Decreases Negative Interactions: Discrimination, whether intentional or unintentional, is a problem in many workplaces. When it occurs, morale and productivity decrease swiftly. In extreme cases, discriminatory behavior can lead to legal repercussions. Diversity training in the workplace educates employees and managers alike on inappropriate and disrespectful behaviors, stopping unproductive interactions before they begin.
  2. Diversity Training Increases Productivity: Employees who feel respected and have positive interactions with those around them tend to be happier than those working in a more hostile environment. This increase in morale leads to greater productivity and less turnover. Also, by teaching techniques for handling diversity-related tension, diversity training helps reduce workplace conflict, allowing employees to concentrate on their jobs instead of being distracted by tension with co-workers. Because a happier staff produces better work, making an investment in diversity training is an effective way to help your employees produce the best results possible.
  1. Diversity Training Ignites Passion: Diversity training encourages authenticity, allowing individuals to be themselves rather than merely “fit in” with the status quo. Employees who feel excited about their job and what they can contribute are more energetic and passionate.

 

Diversity training in the workplace dramatically changes the way your employees view and interact with each other, which in turn dramatically improves your organizational results.

Recommended Training Resources
Gateways to Inclusion is an engaging explanation of how tense moments can be transformed into productive conversations. By looking at negative interactions as “gateways,” employees can use these situations to nurture better working relationships and increase understanding.

One of the Cool Kids: It’s not Just for High School

Saturday, November 8th, 2014

Whether or not we were one of the “cool kids” in school, we all remember the teenage angst and pain that came when we felt excluded by our peers.

Turns out that this pain and frustration isn’t just for teens.

A recent study from the University of Georgia’s School of Business shows that adults respond with “some pretty unsavory behaviors” when faced with the prospect of exclusion from their workgroup.

Diversity Training VideosThese behaviors aren’t driven only by the obvious exclusionary acts such as not being invited to a meeting or to join the crowd going for coffee. Apparently even uncertainty about the potential of being excluded from the group can cause enough anxiety that individuals start lying about their performance, undermining people outside the group, and cheating or taking risky short-cuts in order to prove to their colleagues that they’re worthy of being included. (more…)

What’s in a Name? A lesson on diversity, bias and inclusion

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

What’s in a Name?

A recent article on The Atlantic’s website describes a study showing how someone’s name impacts their chances of success.

For instance, women with gender-neutral names (like “Cameron” or “Chris”)  tend to be more successful, especially in traditionally male-dominated fields … and people with names that seem white/caucasion in origin have a statistically significant advantage in the workplace.

Why does this happen? We think we’re being fair. We mean well. We think we’re smart and open-minded – too smart and open-minded to fall prey to cultural stereotypes that we don’t consciously believe in. But just as we don’t intend to catch a cold or the flu, we may not intend to be biased, but we still end up absorbing the cultural stereotypes surrounding us.

Understanding DiversityNo matter how well-meaning we may be, no matter how much we may want to be fair, these deep-seated unconscious biases are present in all of us. And they cause us to dismiss opinions, leave people out of conversations, and even ignore someone altogether.

It’s distressing to realize. Fortunately, with awareness comes opportunity – opportunity to pay attention to what we’re doing, to listen to those around us more deeply, to include everyone intentionally, to value different perspectives, and to engage freely and openly with all the people we encounter. (more…)

Different Like You

Sunday, January 12th, 2014

Workplace Diversity Training VideosThe best diversity training programs are those that focus less on what group a person can be identified with, and more on the unique nature of each person. They also show how the inclusion of all enables an organization to fully utilize its most valuable resource — its human capital.

Different Like You: Appreciating Diversity is one such video training program. Viewers of the program learn the importance of accepting and appreciating the differences between one another, examine their own stereotypes and prejudices (and how these impact their behavior), and understand common barriers to inclusion.  A step-by-step model for resolving the type of conflict that arises in a diverse workplace is included. (more…)


 

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