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Express your Opinions about DEI

Learn how expressiveness plays a crucial role in fostering an inclusive culture.

Brief Summary

Expressiveness is a vital aspect of creating an inclusive workplace. It refers to an individual's ability to openly and confidently express their views on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). It encompasses sharing opinions, beliefs, and experiences related to DEI topics, while also considering the internal barriers that may hinder speaking up.

Expressiveness plays a crucial role in fostering an inclusive culture by enabling honest conversations, promoting learning, and bridging differences between employees. When employees feel comfortable expressing their perspectives, it creates an environment where dialogue thrives, understanding deepens, and collaboration flourishes.

Through expressiveness, individuals can speak up to share their own experiences and views and challenge biases; by encourage the expressiveness of others we can increase our awareness of others’ differential workplace experiences and cultivate empathy. When we express our beliefs, we should keep in mind that those beliefs may not be shared by others; when we want to be heard, it is equally important to cultivate respectful, active listening to other viewpoints.

Challenge

The challenge surrounding expressiveness in the context of DEI lies in the presence of various barriers that impede individuals from speaking up. These barriers can include a lack of confidence in what we want to say, how to say it, or how it will be received; the influence of cultural norms that inhibit us from speaking up about sensitive topics; or introversion.

When employees cannot express their views on DEI, it hampers their ability to contribute to meaningful dialogue, hindering progress towards inclusion. Overcoming these barriers is essential for creating an environment where all voices can be heard.

Recommendation

Organizations should establish a culture where individuals feel empowered to share their perspectives without fear of negative consequences, criticism, or judgment. Training programs and workshops equip employees with the necessary skills to engage in constructive conversations about sensitive topics (like race or gender). They provide guidance on effective communication techniques, and active listening, enabling employees to discuss DEI with empathy and respect.

For some employees impacted by cultural norms, introversion, or marginalization, speaking up does not feel safe. They may need smaller, safer opportunities for dialogue such as mentors, affinity groups, or focus groups.

dei progress

Proposed Actions

  • Reflect on your own personal beliefs and values regarding diversity and inclusion. Commit to expanding your awareness.
  • Seek opportunities to educate yourself about DEI topics to increase confidence in discussing them. Choose objective sources to explore the different perspectives involved.
  • Seek trainings and workshops to learn skills for discussing sensitive and difficult topics. Practice active listening and empathy when engaging in conversations about DEI.
  • Seek feedback and growth opportunities. Request feedback from trusted colleagues, mentors, or supervisors regarding expressiveness in DEI conversations.
  • Ensure that all employees have options for expressing themselves in ways that feel safe and authentic. Consider mentor programs, affinity groups, or focus groups. As an individual, find allies and support networks.

Valued Guidance

Implementation Plan

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