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Can Leader’s Use DEI Programs and Policies To Coach “Hate” Away?

Updated: Jul 31, 2022

3 ways to create a work culture that brings out the best in employees Chris White | TEDxAtlanta

Given the realities of 6 January 2021, it is apparent there is a great divide in the nation, which has led to heated and uncivilized interactions – all of which have made this topic timely. Managers have to recognize this reality and prepare themselves for the eventuality that mounting frustrations with disparities and contested social, political and religious differences could possibly make their way into the workplace. Management DEI plans need to proactively address such potential conflicts.

Leaders play an important role in using (DEI) Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion policies to establish standards of conduct and behavior in the workplace. Of course, managers can’t, with the wave of a magic-wand, coach hate away, but they can absolutely ensure it does not fester in the workplace.

DEI plans can ensure leaders and teams are diverse and everyone has a clear understanding of management’s expectations regarding workplace interactions. Again, DEI is one tool, EEO and other such policies work jointly to ensure racial injustice, unfairness, allocation of resources and other unaccepted behavior don’t occur nor manifest hate in the workplace.

Managers who strive for excellence in DEI practices hone qualities that enable them to be critically thought-provoking individuals, excellent communicators, excellent at building and leading teams, as well as adept at inclusive problem-solving and decision-making. Executives need to cultivate a DEI environment that cultivates these kinds of leadership qualities in their workforce.

There is no such thing as a perfect manager, after all we are all human and flawed, however, managers should strive for perfection and arguably one indicator of that pursuit is their willingness, when necessary, to go outside of their comfort zone to connect with people. This has become almost a critical part of their managerial duties; because managers have to be prepared to convince those that they supervise to get better at interacting with culturally and ethnically diverse co-workers – some of whom are very frustrated with historical disparities. A well-conceived DEI program gives managers the tools to assist in this quest.

Regardless of how much an organization talks about following the DEI objectives, if it cannot diversify its Board and Top Tier Leadership – it might be said that they are inviting public scrutiny and debate over their commitment to DEI principles. In this era of using social media to advance social justice – lack of Board and Executive diversity, widens the equity divide within an already heated public discourse. Hence activists and consultants are finding that one of their key roles is to coach top leaders on how to be proactive DEI practitioners.

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