Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Are Diversity and Inclusion Good For Business? - BLACK ENTERPRISE

by Dr. Debra Nixon 
Originally published: June 13, 2016
Publisher: BlackEnterprise.com 

Attitudes born out of our own individual upbringing and conditioning informs a company’s culture

The last thing you need is for me to bore you with workplace ‘best practices’ for diversity and inclusion. If you’re in management—any level—then you go to bed with the list in your head. Achieving workplace harmony without memorizing a list of do’s and don’t’s, is a daunting challenge. That’s why we have to approach the topic of inclusion in a totally new and different way that goes beyond the discussion of race and gender.

Twenty years as a licensed marriage & family therapist, relationship expert & diversity trainer has shown me my fair share of how shall I say it, under-functioning (I don’t like dysfunctional) organizations and teams. The solution to companies’ mounting diversity and inclusion woes lies in three critical behaviors. First, individuals must practice open, honest self-reflection and communication. Second, they must contextualize diverse behaviors and beliefs. And third, they must turn that contextualization into consistent action.

Simply put, to create an inclusive environment at home, work, church or community, you must learn to respect, or at least accept, beliefs and behaviors you deem weird, unacceptable, or just plain wrong. Easy, right?