Navigate Differences

Rosalina Perez, Bilingual Program Manager, NIIC

Each of us is unique. Our diversity is defined by visible characteristics like age, race, or culture. It also includes what you can’t see, like ideas, opinions, skills, and values. Contrary to the notion that differences only cause division, we can discover tremendous beauty in diversity through understanding. To start now, register for this Navigate Differences Workshop, March 15-17,2023.

The Value of Diversity

Being different means each of us contributes something to the intricate web of life. When people with dissimilar backgrounds come together, new ideas and perspectives come into play. Being open to these may help us in making key decisions and creating a culture to foster innovation. Like colors come together to form a vibrant picture, valuing different perspectives expands our creativity.

Think about how this could drive success for your business.

In the workplace, having these new perspectives can help you serve new clients with different demographics, geographies and cultural perspectives.

A varied workforce can contribute to a company’s responsiveness to diverse customers.

Getting to Know Differences Among Groups

Now that we know that diversity opens doors of opportunity, how do we navigate through those differences? Awareness and understanding are essential to developing unity.

Good communication skills and an open stance are imperative to comprehend deeper than we see and observe. We would want to uncover differences within and among groups in a non-shaming way.

Through empathy, we can make our colleagues feel accepted and celebrated.

It is also important to remember that creating a work environment that respects and includes differences doesn’t happen overnight. This means we need to be intentional in building relationships, mentoring, and in how we develop our talents every day.

Do you need help with how to make this happen? Read on.

Navigate Difference Workshop

We have your back if you struggle with where to start or what to do. Northeast Indiana Innovation Center (NIIC) offers a three-day Navigating Difference Workshop. It’s part of our Community Navigator Program and is led by our Spoke Organization, Purdue Extension Allen County. During the workshop, you will actively participate with a cohort of others on this path with you.

The workshop is dynamic, and the objectives include:

  1. Become more aware of your own personal and organizational cultures.
  2. Examine how your personal and organizational cultures affect your ability to work across differences in both negative and positive ways.
  3. Build skills to increase competencies as you work with others who are different from you.
  4. Complete the Intercultural Conflict Style Inventory and develop an action plan for moving forward.

This workshop was offered last year, and here’s what participant Rosalina Perez, Bilingual Program Manager, NIIC, said. “This training gave me a new perspective on interacting with others from different cultures. It provided tools to help me navigate conflicts and improve my communication skills. I’m grateful that this training provided the safe space to have difficult conversations and to allow me to be vulnerable.

Register today. https://niic.net/our-events/ Purdue’s expertise and what you will learn through them are actionable and will help you to make a difference.


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