16 Points on Becoming Diversity Friendly

  1. Stop judging. Assume something positive. Give others the benefit of the doubt, as you would like them to give it to you.
  2. Treat people fairly. Try to put yourself in their shoes and examine what you would need from others if you were in that situation.
  3. Respect others’ points of view.  Just as your perspectives are based on your experiences, allow that others’ experiences and perspectives are likely to be different than yours.
  4. Accept that others have needs, and others’ needs may be very different from yours based on their different reality.
  5. Value the strengths and experiences of others.  Everyone has a special gift. Challenge yourself to identify the special gifts of others.
  6. Include others who are different. The more proactive you are in this area, the more experience and skill you will acquire.
  7. Legitimize different ways of doing things.  Just as you are comfortable with your way of doing things, so are others.
  8. Allow and encourage others to be themselves.  Requiring conformance is the opposite of valuing differences.
  9. Ask individuals what they prefer to be called.  Let others know how you prefer to be referred to.
  10. Don’t expect from others things you are not willing to give.  Develop flexible behaviors.
  11. Become comfortable with not always being in control of others.  Recognize the benefits to you in giving up that control.
  12. Keep all your co-workers in the information loop.  Pay attention to your primary network of informal data.  Is this group diverse?
  13. Empower others who are different. Be a positive influence on at least one person who is different than you.
  14. Notice words, images, and situations that reinforce stereotypes.
  15. Ask additional questions when performance does not meet expectations.
  16. Care enough to be demanding.  Maintaining high standards is the way to achieve excellence.  Focus on removing barriers, not lowering expectations as a way of compensating for the barriers.
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