Diversity Self-awareness

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Diversity Self-awareness

Diversity Self-awareness

Corporate policies and government regulations can provide structure and try to promote diversity, but the ability to build meaningful relationships and interact with one another is a completely different topic that is more difficult to learn.

It is important to understand and be aware of how your behaviors or attitudes can affect another individual. The ability to analyze your own identity, biases and feelings towards stereotypes is not an easy skill to master.

It requires being completely honest with one's self and also showing empathy for others who are different. Few people like to admit that they have biases or are prejudiced in some way. Formally acknowledging these biases is the first step in changing the discriminatory behavior.

Here are some questions that an individual can use to self-assess his or her ability to embrace diversity:

  1. Do you know your own cultural background?
  2. What unique characteristic or cultural trait do you bring that can benefit the team?
  3. What common stereotypes can you think of?
  4. Do you actively seek out people who are different from you to learn from them?
  5. Do you ever visualize yourself in another person's situation and empathize with that individual?
  6. Do you value a person by his or her contributions or do you use other criteria?
  7. Do you enjoy working with individuals with different accents and different cultural backgrounds?

These questions are merely a starting point for an individual to begin looking within and discovering current comfort levels with diversity. Once individuals are honest with themselves, they can begin to recognize flaws and start changing their behavior in the workplace.

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