Our workplace is increasingly diverse, and that is good news. There is only one small catch: we have literally millions of years of evolution working against us, telling us our primary need to surround ourselves with what is predictable. The key is to hack our reptilian brain and move into our frontal lobe, where higher-order thought occurs. It is in this place that we build strategies to embrace diversity in practice.
Take Away: Diversity in any capacity—thought, background, values, age—likely will give rise to conflict. We can minimize conflict by decreasing diversity in our organization, or we can profit from diversity by learning to honor differences while developing mutual trust and respect.
Key Questions: What are the climate and behavioral practices in my organization? Has conflict eroded mutual trust and deteriorated our ability to come together productively?
- Understand the neuropsychology of fear and bias
- Recognize the maladaptive strategies that arise from the fight-or-flight, reptilian brain
- Create adaptive strategies that bypass fears and build mutual respect and understanding
- Classroom teachers
- Special education assessment staff
- Behavior specialists