World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development
is annually held on May 21 to help people learn about the importance of cultural diversity and harmony.
Just like a band requires a diversity of instruments to make great music, an organization is harmonized and strongest when there is cultural diversity. Cultural diversity should be embraced. We should work to understand our own culture in contrast to other cultures, recognizing that each culture provides only one way among many possible ways. Cultural dissonance sometimes occurs for many reasons, such as miscommunication, assumptions, and education. Conversation and dialogue can help restore harmony, especially when everyone, having their own perspective, recognizes the existence of different viewpoints, and remains open to learning about other cultures. Some organizations believe that they have achieved cultural diversity when they have recruited a culturally diverse workforce. It’s not just about hitting the right notes in hiring. Cultural diversity is also about fostering a culture where everyone is appreciated, respected, heard, and valued. Diversity enhances innovation, improvement, and development, especially when the following are applied when learning about and embracing different cultures: respect, empathy, open-mindedness, curiosity, risk-taking, flexibility, and tolerance of ambiguity.
How can you assure all voices are heard in your organization and community?
Let us know by answering to this post
- ASQ Diversity & Inclusion Taskforce
Linda Andrade Gonzalez
Ondina Castillo Amaya
Re: making sure all voices are heard in an organization or community, I've found some of the following approaches valuable in my workplace, depending on the context:
- Use a "meeting before the meeting" approach to talking with a diversity of individuals and gain their perspectives to help inform the discussion, even if they are not able to share directly in the meeting. Similarly, the "meeting after the meeting" can be used to clarify points and further understand differences of opinion.
- When a team member makes a point that is not being understood or is being disregarded, bring attention to it. Amplify the point by drawing attention to it, asking a clarifying question, maybe adding some more context where applicable, or at least by circling the conversation back to the missed point.
- Speak up when someone is cut off in discussion and be their advocate to get their voice heard.
We also have to continue to build relationships through conversations. Conversations don't happen through e-mail or on the phone, they happen face to face.
Can someone honestly respond to the statement above if this kind of view is perceived or viewed in a positive manner as something to follow or practice? Let's say in places like China, Korea, or Russia.
Cultural diversity is also about fostering a culture where everyone is appreciated, respected, heard, and valued. Diversity enhances innovation, improvement, and development, especially when the following are applied when learning about and embracing different cultures: respect, empathy, open-mindedness, curiosity, risk-taking, flexibility, and tolerance of ambiguity.