Consulting, managing, and working in a world without borders requires sensitivity to and skill in working with cultural differences and other aspects of diversity, and an ability to analyze situations from multiple perspectives. It requires fostering and practicing inclusion for oneself and others, to allow reaping the benefits of diversity. I offer a series of learning sessions, designed individually and collectively to support the development of competencies for diversity and inclusion, at both the individual and group levels, as well as the development of inclusive leadership and more inclusive organizational cultures. The sessions described below are illustrative, and they can be customized and developed depending on specific needs.

Bernardo Ferdman, speaking at the Forum on Workplace Inclusion

Bernardo Ferdman, speaking at the Forum on Workplace Inclusion

Key elements:
• Learn about the core elements of the practice of inclusion, as the key for harnessing the power of diversity.
• Define the core competencies of a high performing and inclusive leadership team.
• Understand the impact of multiple cultures on team inclusion and business results.
• Learn ways in which culture affects communication, decision-making and other core leadership competencies.

What Is Inclusion and Why Does It Matter?

This session will focus on constructing a shared view of inclusion in terms of individual experience and behavior in the context of diversity. Participants will focus on learning about inclusion as having to do with the degree to which people of all group identities feel safe, appreciated, valued, and able to be authentic at work. We will also explore how the degree to which more people have this experience can results in highly desirable outcomes both for the organization and its people, and develop awareness regarding how each person can proactively support the creation of more inclusion and empowerment for themselves and others at work. (3 hours – 1 day)

Building, Sustaining, and Benefiting from Diversity: Inclusion as the Key

This workshop will focus on best practices in successful diversity and inclusion initiatives and on their specific application in the participants’ organization. Participants will explore, in light of these best practices, the meaning and importance of diversity and inclusion in their organization, the role of inclusion in reaping the benefits of diversity, key strategies for diversity and inclusion, and their own individual and collective leadership in fostering and benefitting from inclusion. Topics covered include: 1) What is diversity and how does it matter to you and to your organization?; 2) Inclusion and its benefits for individual, team, and organizational effectiveness; 3) The elements of inclusion at multiple levels: individual, interpersonal, leadership, and organizational; 4) Best practices for diversity and inclusion; 5) Leadership for inclusion and inclusive leadership – strategies and practices. (1.5-2 days)

The Practice of Inclusion in Diverse Groups and Organizations

The practice of inclusion is essential for deriving the benefits of diversity in groups and organizations. Creating and fostering the experience of inclusion—the degree to which people of all group identities and across multiple dimensions of diversity feel safe, appreciated, valued, and able to be authentic at work—involves an active practice on the part of leaders and members of groups and organizations. This workshop—grounded in theory, research, and practice on diversity in the workplace—will focus on deepening participants’ understanding of the experience of inclusion at the individual level and of the interpersonal and leader behaviors as well as group and organizational practices that create and sustain it. Participants in this workshop will develop a multilevel perspective on what inclusion is and how to achieve it for themselves and others. They will also explore how to incorporate the practice of inclusion into their own behavior and into their work groups. (4 hours – 1 day)

Enhancing Inclusion by Bringing One’s Whole Self to Work

It can sometimes seem as if we need to be one person at work and a different one in our personal life. This session will focus on how to be our best and “whole self” at work so that we can better harness our full power in the workplace. Participants will look at the choices they make regarding how much and which aspects of themselves they bring to work. Through this individual and collective exploration, participants should emerge with greater clarity regarding how they can proactively create more inclusion and empowerment for themselves and others at work. (2½ – 4 hours)

Leading for Inclusion: Bringing One’s Whole Self to Work

This session focuses on a key element of inclusive leadership: being one’s best and whole self at work, and creating the conditions for and encouraging others to do so. Participants will learn about their multiple identities and reflect on the choices they make regarding how much and which aspects of themselves they bring to work, as well as the role of these various identities in their leadership effectiveness and power. Through individual and collective explorations, participants will develop clarity and specific action plans regarding how they can proactively create more inclusion and empowerment for themselves and others at work. This course will change the way you look at yourself and others so that you can be more accepting and inclusive of yourself and others and ultimately more effective. In this workshop, participants explore the multiple identities they bring to the workplace and the power of these identities to contribute to their individual success, to their effectiveness as a leader, and to the goals of their organization; they will discover how knowing oneself and one’s identities can provide greater choices in being authentic, whole, and powerful as a leader; and they will develop insights and plans for engaging with their full set of identities and for creating more inclusion for themselves and for others at work. (4 hours)

Attracting, Hiring, and Retaining a Diverse Workforce

This workshop will focus on the essential elements of a successful approach to diversity and inclusion. Attracting, hiring, and retaining a diverse workforce and, more importantly, reaping the benefits of this diversity in a sustainable manner, require the organization and its leaders to adopt key strategies, practices, and competencies. Beyond diversity, organizations and their members face the challenge of inclusion: how to effectively connect, integrate, and engage with people across all types of differences in mutually beneficial and enhancing ways. Creating and fostering inclusion—the degree to which people of all group identities and across multiple dimensions of diversity feel safe, appreciated, valued, and able to be authentic at work—involves an active practice on the part of leaders and members of groups and organizations, and is a fundamental basis for building, sustaining, and benefitting from diversity. This highly interactive workshop will focus on best practices in successful diversity and inclusion initiatives and on their specific application in the participants’ organization. Participants will explore, in light of these best practices, the meaning and importance of diversity and inclusion in their organization, the role of inclusion in reaping the benefits of diversity, key strategies for diversity and inclusion, and their own individual and collective leadership in fostering and benefiting from inclusion. (1-2 days)

Finding and Using One’s Own Voice in Managing Conflict and Pushback: Speaking Up and Pushing Back Effectively, Productively, and Authentically

Conflict is a naturally occurring phenomenon in organizations, and not necessarily a negative one. Handling conflict well and speaking up about what is important are both keys to effective inclusion. Participants in this session will examine and reassess how they view and approach pushback and conflict as well as learn about the silence spiral and how to break out of it effectively, productively, and authentically. (2-4 hours)

Authentic Cross-Cultural Communication

How can we connect and engage with others who are quite different from us? This session will provide perspectives and tools designed to enhance how we approach cross-cultural situations and improve our results, including learning how to speak up in one’s own cultural voice. By learning how to interpret situations, reduce misunderstanding, and communicate more effectively and authentically, we can enhance our own results and those of our colleagues and work teams. (1½ – 4 hours)

Working Collaboratively across Cultures

This workshop will provide participants with key perspectives and skills for enhancing their capacity to work collaboratively toward strategic goals and strategic change, in a climate that values and benefits from cultural and other differences. Participants will learn the key elements of collaborative behavior and inclusion, and will focus on how to best enhance alignment, respect, and teamwork so as to build strategic transformation and excellence. They will learn how to recognize and engage with differences (especially cultural differences), how to listen to and support others and to give and receive feedback, and how to promote and operate in a climate of trust and mutual respect that values differences as a key resource for collective benefit and success. (1-2 days)

Cultural Identity and Cultural Values at Work

What role do our cultural identities and values play for ourselves and others at work? How can we understand and work with these influences in a way that optimizes both our own and others’ inclusion and effectiveness in diverse groups and organizations? This workshop will engage participants in self-exploration to build awareness, knowledge, and skills for cross-cultural effectiveness and for harnessing the positive power of inclusion. (2 – 4 hours)

Latino and Latina Identity Orientations: Implications for Leaders and Organizations

This session will focus on Latino diversity and the variety of Latino identity orientations, with the goal of enhancing both self-understanding of Latinos and Latinas and the effectiveness of non-Latinos in working across differences. (1½ – 4 hours)

Additional options:
• Leadership for Inclusion: Complexities and Challenges
• Inclusion as a Key Ingredient in Leading Diverse Organizations
• 21st Century Leadership: Inclusion and Performance