Diversity and Inclusion Training
Could Your Team Benefit From Diversity Training?
Do you value diversity and social justice as part of your corporate-social responsibility and want to ensure everyone in your organization feels heard, respected, and valued? Perhaps there are power dynamics and biases at play, but they are difficult to detect and address. When you attempt to make sure your policies and practices are inclusive, are you met with dismissive or uncomfortable reactions? Although you may have talented and intelligent employees, during client interactions, you may have noticed microaggressions or other problematic behaviors that jeopardize the reputation of your organization. When you confront your employees or colleagues and try to mediate these situations, does it seem like you’re never able to reach a sustained resolution?
Or, perhaps your organization prides itself on being very progressive. You may even manage a school or nonprofit that specifically works toward providing better opportunities for marginalized people. And, even though everyone on your team is united in the mission of creating a better world, when there is a conflict, the stakes, sensitivity, and stress may be too high to work through effectively. If it seems like feelings are getting hurt and voices are being silenced, you may crave better tools to work through workplace tensions.
Although you want to compassionately navigate difficult conversations surrounding gender, race, religion, and culture, you may not feel equipped with the language or facilitation skills to successfully do so. It may be that you simply don’t want fear, disrespect, or mistrust disrupting your workplace. If this is the case, you likely want to develop a community where everyone feels empowered to express authentic and creative points of view.
Microaggressions Happen In Nearly Every Workplace
If you’ve received a complaint-- either from a client, employee, or team member-- regarding derogatory or disrespectful behavior, you are certainly not alone. Microaggressions by definition are common, daily acts of discrimination or prejudice that leave people in targeted groups feeling invalidated, slighted, and disrespected. We all say and do things that can unintentionally hurt others in this way, and being part of a diverse workplace means that you and your employees are especially likely to witness, experience, or enact microaggressions.
The reason that microaggressions and discrimination can be so challenging to confront is that many biases are unconscious, deeply ingrained, and inherently difficult to unpack. It’s entirely possible to be a person who believes in the dignity of all people, but still unconsciously adopts beliefs or behaviors that demonstrate prejudice. It may be that you, your employees, or your team members are struggling to understand certain experiences that differ from your own. Without awareness and insight into these issues, or without the language needed to offer insight to others, it’s no wonder you feel uncomfortable handling conflicts surrounding race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, and more.
There are many good reasons to address discrimination, microaggressions, and other inclusion issues with a professional who specializes in this work. New research makes it increasingly clear that companies with more diverse workforces are more creative, innovative, and perform better financially. Wouldn’t you like to foster a high functioning, respectful work culture where people feel empowered and fulfilled in their work?
Diversity and Inclusion Training Can Help Your Workforce Thrive
Working with a professional who offers an objective perspective can be crucial to identifying and addressing diversity issues within your workplace. As an organizational consultant and psychologist, my expertise lies in detecting problematic dynamics and providing useful ways to resolve them, while building upon the existing strengths of your team. I work with teams to develop healthier communication that enables everyone to voice and work through concerns. The more your team is able to foster connection and inclusion, the better you’ll all be able to perform as a unit. More diverse companies are generally better able to retain talent and improve customer orientation, employee satisfaction, and decision making, which all ultimately contribute to a virtuous cycle of increasing returns.
During our training, you and your colleagues will have a safe, compassionate space to carefully consider how prejudice and/or microaggressions impact your workplace. With a focus on empathy, it’s possible to connect your team members to their own values and motivation and find common ground.
Diversity and inclusion training specifically focuses on:
Before the training, you and I will consider the reasons you’re seeking out my expertise. Each of my trainings are tailored specifically to the mission and goals of your organization.
The first portion of diversity training addresses internal biases and all the of ways in which our identities and socialization experiences shape our worldview and value systems. Then, we’ll consider how power operates on micro and macro levels and how this impacts people in privileged or marginalized positions. We may also confront how all of us carry some degree of societal privilege, which creates holes in our awareness about our own experiences and the experiences of people different from us. This lack of awareness is often what leads to the development of unconscious biases. We want to bring awareness to different experiences without putting that burden on the marginalized people within your organization.
You can also expect your team to practice mindfulness techniques and communication skills, allowing them to participate effectively in what can often be difficult conversations. Mindfulness techniques allow us to bring nonjudgmental awareness to our thoughts and feelings and gives us the opportunity to be more flexible as we listen to others. When individuals are able to be curious about their thoughts and feelings without feeling controlled by them, it’s possible to combat internally held bias and engage with others in balanced, more respectful ways. Mindfulness will be paired with the use of active listening skills so everyone can feel heard. Practicing communication skills will equip your team to not only manage reactivity, but also express concerns and receive feedback with greater openness and generosity.
Developing a Plan of Action
At the end of our training, you will walk away with a summary of what we worked on and a plan of action. I seek to provide applicable skills that each person within the organization can take out into the world. With the right guidance and tools, it’s possible to create a healthier office dynamic.
I’ve been helping individuals and organizations address and heal issues around discrimination and microaggressions my entire career. When the individuals within a team feel valued at work and are able to empower one another, the results can be astounding. It is possible to address diversity and inclusion concerns and foster a more collaborative and welcoming work climate.
You may still have questions or concerns about organizational diversity training in the workplace …
I’m worried that deep-seated issues will arise during diversity and inclusion training.
As an organizational consultant and psychologist, it’s not my aim to make anyone uncomfortable. The goal is to be able to address issues that cause real emotional distress in balanced, productive, compassionate, non-shaming, empathetic ways. In the end, the goal is to resolve conflicts. If you’re worried about upsetting people, these issues are likely already simmering beneath the surface and will remain that way until they are addressed.
Some of my colleagues don’t take criticism very well, and I’m worried the training won’t help.
As an experienced psychologist, I’m able to assess group dynamics and motivation levels to effectively engage people who wish they were anywhere else but diversity training. I’m no stranger to ambivalence or resistance about these issues, and I’m skilled at meeting people where they are to help them take steps forward. The exercises I provide are experiential, so it isn’t really possible for people to zone out or disengage. Furthermore, people who struggle with criticism may benefit from this training the most. The more we’re able to address your colleagues’ fears, worries, and discomfort, the more open and honest they will be when these issues come up in the future.
Do you provide ongoing trainings?
I can come into your workplace and perform multiple forms of trainings. I’m happy to maintain a partnership with you and continue to assess and build on the results we achieve. As needed, we can add more trainings to capitalize on all the progress you’ve made in promoting equality and diversity in the workplace.
Your Team Can Thrive
If you’re ready to learn more about how diversity and inclusion training can improve your workplace, I invite you to schedule a free 30-minute phone consultation by clicking on the button below. I’m happy to answer any questions you may have about diversity awareness training and leadership training for organizations in New York City.