Wyndham Capital regularly takes a step back and looks at how diversity and inclusion permeates our lives and what we can do to improve ourselves day-to-day.
There are many ways to advance diversity awareness, but here are five areas that can be foundational to this goal:
Recognize Our Differences
There can be a misunderstanding that embracing diversity is achieved by dismissing how diverse our society is. However, doing so can miss the positive impact our differences bring to who we are as people and who we are as a population. To really help raise awareness of the effects of diversity, we must look at our differences through the lens that they make us unique, special and extraordinary.
Recognize Our Prejudices
To change our view of the world around us, we sometimes must turn the mirror inward and ask ourselves the tough questions. This is especially true when recognizing and working through our own prejudices. The answers may not be comfortable – they most likely will not be. But asking questions like “Why do I believe this?” and “Have I actually ever experienced what I’m using to make this assumption?” are crucial to understanding where these feelings originate, and allowing for the first steps in overcoming them.
Educate Ourselves and Others
Asking tough questions and having courageous conversations does not just impact recognition of prejudices and differences – they can play a significant role in education. We should never stop learning about how diversity impacts us and our lives, and having the ability to say “I don’t know” about a topic is the first step to growth. Finding these answers and having these conversations where being right is less important than being understood and expressing how we feel is encouraged allows diversity awareness to be passed along from person to person.
Grow Our Understanding
One of the most powerful actions we can take to make someone else feel respected is to listen. To actively, earnestly, honestly listen to others’ views and thoughts, even if we disagree. In fact, to listen with an open mind when you disagree is even more important. We don’t have to be set in our views forever, without the option of evolving, just like we evolve as people. Understanding how others feel and why they feel that way will help us be more well-rounded and well-educated in our views.
Grow Our Respect
Respect can come in many forms. It can be to listen without judgment to others who may disagree with you and respect their opinions differently but not necessarily wrong. It can encourage productive conversation and action with those who are different from you, embracing diversity and the positive impact on our society. It can be living our lives in tune with the mentality that being open-minded will get us a lot further in life than being blindly opinionated. But no matter how it manifests itself, growing our respect is the lifeblood of diversity awareness success.
Growing the awareness of diversity can have long-lasting positive impacts. It can ease the burden on some, open the minds of others, and enhance the lives of all. These five suggestions are the tip of the iceberg, and we encourage you to find a way forward that fits you because no matter how we get there, being more aware of diversity is a great place to be.