Appreciation: Insight from #PeopleSkills Chat – Feb 15, 2015

Following along and learning from Kate Nasser’s weekly twitter chat has proved to be insightful.  This is the third post based on learnings from the chat.  The first week was about optimism and diligence and the second week was about silence.

So far, all the topics related to people skills connect to the concept of civility because it is the small actions and the skillfully applied behaviors we take as individuals that lead to respect for others.  We don’t have to wait for respect to give respect.  According the author P.M. Forni, we can choose civility.

This week, rather than list all ten questions, the focus here will be on Question 8

Are people more likely to appreciate others like them or different from them? Why?

A few comments to ponder….

https://twitter.com/CBechervaise/status/566985712210542593

Henry Wallace quote on diversity

Henry A. Wallace spoke about needing differences, or in his words, “all kinds.”  While it is easiest to appreciate what we know, a deeper and compassionate look at others can lead to appreciation, respect and better outcomes.  For those that decide to appreciate others, you become a seed in the process of creating a more civil workplace.

Graphic of Cultivate Seeds of Civility is a blog that is created by The Wallace Centers of Iowa.  Here we cultivate conversations about civility in the workplace.

Recap: Diversity and Inclusion Forum

Diversity and Inclusion

Graphic from Greater Des Moines Partnership

The Greater Des Moines Partnership offered the 2nd Annual Executive Forum on Diversity & Inclusion today. The goal of the event was to facilitate a dialogue on diversity and inclusion-related issues and initiatives in the workplace and community.

The Wallace Centers of Iowa attended because we believe diversity and inclusion can be addressed through thoughtfully applying civility practices in workplace leadership development efforts.  We wanted to learn more from leading companies about their approach to inclusion.

Excellent planning led to Sandy Harris, who is  Vice President of Corporate Diversity Strategy & Internal Operations at Sodexo, being selected as the keynote speaker.  Her company is #2 ranked-company on the DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity in 2014.

Some key learnings from her speech were captured in tweets from attendees who used #DSMDIForum. Here are a few:

  • Organizations with gender balanced leadership teams outperform teams without gender balance.
  • Sodexo took a Top down, Middle out, and Bottom up approach to their diversity initiatives.
  • Emerging economies are outpacing in STEM degrees compared to developed countries.

After the keynote address, the participants had a chance to select from three breakout sessions:

  • Global Talent Development with a speaker from DuPont Pioneer
  • Being in Iowa with a speaker from Iowa Public Radio
  • OpportUNITY: Creating Prosperity for All with a panel from a variety of organizations and businesses.

Attending the session on global talent development, we learned that one approach to addressing diversity and inclusion is to utilize the company wide engagement survey that is done annually.  The key to this approach is to follow-up with action planning at the team level and hold managers accountable for those discussions.

DuPont believes inclusion and diversity is essential to their ability to innovate. They see the power of sharing new and different beliefs and promoting  a culture of respect.  Our take away was that that diversity is not a nice to have, but a need to have strategy.

It reminded us of a quote from the man who founded Pioneer before the company became part of DuPont.

Henry Wallace quote on diversity

The only drawback to the meeting today was that we wish we could have attended the other sessions.

If you attended a session please share your thoughts below or send us a connection to your own blog or post.