31 Day Leadership Gauntlet – Day 12 – Inclusive, Accepting & Respectful

XL Presentation DIARY (2)

In the Sales Training Department we used to say to the training that in many situations the answer was in the room. We wanted to teach people to explore potential within themselves and in others. Because frequent the experiences, perspectives and potential of the class held the information needed to solve their problems.

This technique spoke to the innate potential within each of us. It was the role of the leader, trainer, sales representative and manager to invite the participation of everyone present. We wanted everyone involved in the conversation.

Recognizing the diversity and the value of everyone, involved including, accepting and respecting their status. This would unleash extraordinary amount of interaction and innovation. Read the poem, When I say diversity, what do you hear? and think of ways to put people at ease. They will voluntarily increase their discretionary effort, participation, which will lead to an increase in creative ideas.

When I Say Diversity, What Do You Hear?

When I say diversity, what do you hear?

A word offensive to your ear,

An indignation or a curse;

Discrimination in reverse?

A label that demeans your gains;

A source of troubling psychic pains,

And the affirmative action

Of diminished satisfaction.

When I say diversity, what do you hear?

A word that causes you to fear;

A strike against your comfort zone,

That won’t leave well enough alone.

When you read diversity, what do you see?

A world of animosity,

As people are forced to adjust,

Within a climate of mistrust?

A workforce that is paralyzed

From thoughts that standards compromised

Will lead to matters being worse;

Touch the wallet, affect the purse.

When I read diversity, what do I see?

Some who smile when they think of me?

And others going underground

To hope their bias won’t be found.

When I say diversity, what comes to mind?

An office that is color blind?

A hope that maybe we can see,

More equal opportunity.

Fad of the month, program de jure;

The act of looking for the cure;

Another means to expedite,

Passive aggressive, folks in flight.

When I say diversity, what comes to mind?

Being surpassed by those behind;

An epitaph to status quo,

Though we have a long way to go?

When I say diversity, what do you feel?

That maybe the intent is real;

That through a rich blend of flavors,

We will try to know our neighbors.

And will not grin and grit our teeth

While seething angry underneath.

But truly open softened hearts,

To bring together those apart.

And value people and their views,

And realize they’ve paid their dues.

And listen for the things they pride,

And don’t assume unqualified.

And celebrate with common sense

As we create, a common sense

Within a stronger marketplace,

And represent the market’s face.

When I say diversity, what do you hear?

Hopefully, nothing you should fear.

Reflections of the universe,

A proud mosaic, not a curse.

Copyright © 2001 Orlando Ceaser

Reprinted from Teach the Children to Dance

© 2001 Orlando Ceaser

Personal reflections

  1. What can you do today to help people feel included, accepted and respect?

  2. How can you help others pursue the same objective?

  3. Identify an individual and reach out to them and learn more about them.

  4. Reflect on any biases inconsistent you have in relating to different people.

  5. Examine instances where you demonstrated favoritism or preferential treatment.

  6. How do you think this affected other people who did not receive the same level of attention?

  7. Try to understand how others may feel by learning more about them and putting yourself in their shoes.

  8. Keep a diary of your actions and refer to it from time to time, to gauge your growth in being more inclusive, accepting and respectful.

More leadership information at OrlandoCeaser.com.

The ‘O’ Zone Blog: myozonelayer.com

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=orlando+ceaser

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