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9 Ways to Embrace Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace

On September 27, more than 90 nonprofit leaders gathered at The Warehouse Theatre to celebrate diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Josh Bell – Teach for America and Beverly Ward – Talent Management had a “Behind the Curtain Conversation” about the importance of diversity and inclusion in organizational effectiveness. Then Tan Kirby Davis, Shine the Light Collaborator and president of Tan Davis Consulting and Facilitation, conducted a presentation on three types of diversity that tend to go unnoticed during discussions on the topic: generational mix, work style, and experience. Attendees then participated in Innovation Labs facilitated by community leaders, a new feature of Shine the Light Nonprofit Forums this year. In these labs, facilitators and participants discussed perceptions, team dynamics, and plans to accelerate their organizations further based on the Team Dynamics Continuum, a tool created and provided by Davis and Debbie Nelson, Shine the Light Founder. Facilitators were given discussion questions based on the contents of this Continuum. Here are nine main takeaways from these forward-thinking conversations.

  1. Challenge your initial assumptions about people.
  2. People are individuals – treat them as such.
  3. Let people own their narrative.
  4. There is no “I” in team, but we don’t want to lose the “I’s.”
  5. Everyone interprets things differently, but keep in mind that all interpretations are valid.
  6. Purposefully seek out others who are different, and embrace those differences.
  7. Time is a major part of revealing the stories and context behind the scene. Let it happen.
  8. Be aware of your own personal work style, and take a step back to make yourself aware of others.
  9. Be intentional about how you recruit. This includes building relationships, bringing people together, and communicating effectively.

The fourth and final session of this year’s Shine the Light series is Tuesday, November 15. For more information, visit http://nonprofitforums.org/. We hope to see you there!

Posted October 11, 2016 in: Blog by Blake Stafford

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