I’ve been talking a lot lately about infusing diversity and inclusion into every level of the organization. As you analyze the current culture and climate, you’ll be taking a close look at the policies, practices, training and procedures your organization currently has in place.
Today, I want to share some pointers on how facilitators can instill diversity and inclusion into courses focused on decision-making. There are a number of ways to do this, and I’m sharing some of the strategies I’ve found to be most effective with you here.
Teach others to practice tracking group interactions with an Inclusion Lens.
Set-up role plays of group discussions and have observers track the frequency and type of comments by group membership. I also encourage you to have observers track how others responded/reacted to each comment.
Tip: Coach them to report their observations at the “group level” – not only at the individual level. While it is important to be aware of our own behavior, attitudes and subconscious bias, it’s only one component of the equation. Think of individual reporting as “necessary” – but not “sufficient.”
For example: Instead of reporting out that “Jim initiated the discussion and looked at George as he spoke,” coach participants to widen their observations by noting the group memberships: “A man started the conversation and seemed to look at another man as he spoke. Both appeared white. When a woman entered the discussion these two men looked down and then at each other, and no one followed up on her comment.”
Analyze decision-making processes to ensure they are inclusive.
In your next training activity, I suggest having participants role-play an actual team planning session using the following prompts:
1- Do we have the full breadth of social identity groups and perspectives at the table? Involved in the process?
2- Does our process seriously consider the input/perspectives of a broad range of groups?
3- How can we make this process inclusive for members of various and multiple group memberships?
Consider the following questions to analyze specific suggestions, practices and policies for unintended bias and differential impact across group membership:
- How might our unconscious attitudes and assumptions about ____ be playing out in this decision?
- What could be the impact of each option on the various constituencies and groups in our organization across privileged and marginalized group memberships?
- How might each option inadvertently advantage some and disadvantage others?
- How might newer employees react to this compared to those with seniority? How might younger people react compared to those who are older? How might people react differently based on level in the organization? Race? Gender identity?
Support Your Organization’s Vision by Infusing Diversity & Inclusion
It’s my hope that these tips support you as you consider all the ways you can support the mission and vision of your organization by infusing issues of diversity and inclusion into the trainings you offer.
I believe that when we link diversity/inclusion concepts and tools to the content of courses/workshops/trainings, participants can more easily relate. This makes it easier for them to ultimately transfer these tools into their day-to-day activities.
If you found these strategies helpful, I’d love to share so much more with you on how your organization can create a truly inclusive culture.
Invite your colleagues and join me May 17th for an in-depth, engaging 3-hour Virtual Institute, Creating Inclusive Cultures: Deepen the Capacity to Lead Organizational Change. Register in one easy click right here.