Frequently Asked Questions

Collaboration Skills

How do you have genuine dialogue when two people are coming from very different perspectives?
Authors and speakers Kerry Patterson and Joseph Grenny move the reader through a sequential development of learning how to create the safe conditions and self-awareness for achieving mutual understanding and creative synergy so that those involved in the discussion feel empowered and emotionally connected to the conclusions. – Their book is Crucial Conversations, Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High (2012).
What’s the first step to disarm a conflict?
Speaker Jeff Manion in his 2 minute video offers a quick way to avoid a conflict.
How do you disarm a conversation that is about to turn ugly?
Consultant and author Joseph Grenny outlines five ways to disarm a conversation that is turning ugly. –
How do you disagree with someone more powerful than you, like a boss?
Author and speaker Amy Gallo explains what to do when your boss proposes a new initiative you think won’t work. Or your senior colleague outlines a project timeline you think is unrealistic. What do you say when you disagree with someone who has more power than you do? How do you decide whether it’s worth speaking up? And if you do, what exactly should you say? –

 Organizational Development

Considering that we all have our biases and get differed when we’re under stress, how do I help my employees respond professionally in stressful cross-cultural situations?

We all have important things we want to accomplish, but there are so many distractions and stumbling blocks that may get in our way. Here, writer Bina Venkataraman shares a startlingly easy strategy to use to defeat future challenges.

What is something our company can do to stop losing employees?

CNN Business reports: A lot of workers were leaving, particularly women and minorities. So the company launched a confidential hotline where employees are paired with case managers to resolve any workplace concerns or struggles, before they quit. Read more about how the Hotline works.

What’s it like for a minority when they join a homogenous organization?

Hot-button issues like workplace misogyny and a lack of diversity aren’t often explored by family-friendly Pixar. But it did just that in this nine-minute short. “It’s an example of tribalism, which can be damaging to both individual workers and the companies that employ them ­– when people are in an environment where everyone looks, sounds, acts and thinks the same, it can create an echo chamber and cyclical system that only includes and rewards the same kinds of people over and over.” (BBC)

Is your firm “managing” diversity or promoting equal opportunity?
Authors Stainback and Tomaskovic-Devey examine what has happened to equal opportunity in the private sector since 1964 and where we are today.

How do we effectively shift mindset and change behavior in our organization?
Harvard Business Review author, Tony Schwartz offers strategies to address the invisible reasons that people and cultures so often resist change.

Does being around people who are different from us make us smarter?
Professor Katherine Phillips, explains in her article how diverse teams help businesses grow and innovate. –
How do organizations move toward unity and wholeness?
Pastor and author Brenda Salter McNeil offers a roadmap to guide a church or organization though the journey of reconciliation and transformation. Each chapter lays out a next step in the process, with questions and exercises to engage community members and encourage reflection. – Her book is Roadmap to Reconciliation-Moving Communities into Unity, Wholeness and Justice (2015).
How does asking women about their core values improve their performance in the workplace?
Author Livia Yap explains how members of underrepresented goups experience more self-doubt when entering a new social situation Helping a person reflect on their value enables them to achieve greater career results.
What is the missing ingredient in most diversity efforts?
Author Pat Wadors explains that most people just want to belong in her article in Harvard Business Review.
What motivates people?
This lively RSA Animate, adapted from Dan Pink’s talk at the RSA, illustrates the hidden truths behind what really motivates us at home and in the workplace.
How can we break down barriers one lunch at a time?
DINE! is a unique grassroots program that encourages co-workers to share a meal to get to know each other on a deeper level.
How do we show white men that diversity and inclusion efforts need them?

Straight white men think they don’t belong when it comes to diversity and inclusion efforts. In this HBR article, the author illustrates how to reframe this rationale into a strengths-based approach and use their identity as insight.
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Cultural Intelligence

How do immigrants contribute to the U.S. economy?
How does whitesplaining hinder cross-cultural relationships?

CNN writer, John Blake explains “whitesplaining” is an affliction that’s triggered when some white people hear a person of color complain about racism. In this article, Stop ‘Whitesplaining’ Racism to Me, Blake tells us what to do instead.

Can ethnic and cultural diversity boost corporate profits?
This article from the quarterly journal, Directors & Boards cites a study from McKinsey & Co addressing the value of diversity in corporate governance.
Why does race and culture matter in the C-suite?
Reporter Ellen McGirt shares the experience of a black executive in the C-suite and what it took to get there. With the billions of dollars spent on diversity programs in corporate America, there are far too few people of color represented in management. Corporate America may be losing out on this talent pool. Although the story is currently discouraging, the article offers three Diversity Strategies that work, two of which Empowering Partners addresses: develop talent through long-term mentorship and get people talking. –
How did the racial divide get started in the United States?
In this video, Matthew Cooke explains how whites and blacks were pitted against one another to create America’s racial caste system. –
Is racial bias a real thing?
Professor Jennifer Eberhardt’s, research shows subconscious connections in people’s minds between black faces and crime, and how those links may pervert justice. Law enforcement officers across the country are taking note. –
How do I know if I have racial bias?
Take Harvard’s Implicit Bias test to discover your implicit associations about race, gender, sexual orientation, and other topics. –
How were race and racism constructed in the United States through law and how did those laws shape our culture?
Talk show host and author, Thom Hartmann, in his 5 minute-video history, shows how white privilege, racism and oppression were constructed in America –
Why does "equality" feel like oppression for white people?
Blogger explains why when you’re accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression for us whites. –
What aren't people of color saying?
In this poem, Poet Norma Johnson offers a cry from her heart to speak on a deeper level to her white friends and to attempt to relay to them that because of race, there is a palpable difference in the way our daily lives play out. And to her friends of darker hues, she offers this gift of voice. –
Why don’t white people relate well to the history of people of color?
Writer Christopher Ingraham explains that, “…most whites are not “socially positioned” to understand this history — simply because they know few people who’ve experienced it. Herein lies part of the problem. –
Why are views on race relations and racial inequality between whites and black worlds apart?
The Pew Research Center study explores how the opinions of blacks and whites vary by age, education, gender and party identification in key questions. In this report, they explore how on views of race and inequality, blacks and whites are worlds apart. These findings are from a new national survey of 3,769 U.S. adults, including 1,799 whites and 1,004 blacks, conducted Feb. 29-May 8, 2016. –
Why is it so hard for white people to talk about race?
Author and white man Robin DeAngelo explains the patterns that make it difficult for white people to understand and talk about race. –
What are the behaviors that keep white people from connecting with people of color?

Jim Elders and Bruce Irons outline 10 behaviors and words white people may use that separates them from dealing with issues of race and building relationships with people of color.

How might I help college-age students, who may or may not be open to conversations about being white, begin to perceive how racism works?
For 40 years Jane Elliott (A Class Divided) has been running an exercise that has ignited controversy around the world. She says it lays bare the hidden truth about racism in white societies. Many disagree, some vehemently. Now she’s bringing her extreme methods and message to modern Britain. She’s about to divide this group. Her aim: Simulate a racist apartheid style regime and discussion. –
How do I become more aware of my own white culture?
Author Debby Irving tells her often cringe-worthy story of how she journeyed from white oblivion to white awareness. Now a racial justice educator and writer, Debby helps white people transform confusion to curiosity and anxiety into action. – To become more aware, read her book, Waking Up White and Finding Myself in the Story of Race (2014).
Why does racism keep hurting programs that help the poor?
This article explains how white people become significantly less likely to support welfare programs when told that black people might benefit from them.