It's about cultivating an environment where everyone is comfortable enough to interact freely and work without stress over who they are.
Your business needs to be more proactive when it comes to diversity. Just saying, “I never would offend anyone because of ethnic differences, so I'm OK,” is not enough to transform diversity from a potential trouble area to an organizational strength. So says Michelle T. Johnson, author of The Diversity Code: Unlock the Secrets to Making Differences Work in the Real World (Amacom/Available now). In the book, Johnson breaks down commonly accepted “givens” about diversity. She offers guidance for professionals to extend themselves – even if just by taking baby steps at first – to gain a greater understanding of the people they work with. “The best organizations have become genuine cross-cultural communities,” Johnson says. “They believe equally in reconciling differences and valuing them.” Johnson is a former employment attorney who now writes the nationally syndicated “Diversity Diva” newspaper column. She also provides diversity workshops for clients such as Wal-Mart and H&R Block. For more about her book, click here. Here are selected highlights:
Dennis McCafferty is a freelance writer for Baseline Magazine.
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