Diversity

I’m back to work after a 2 days course at the Devan Nair Institute.

The topic was on “Manage a diverse service environment.”

I love the instructor … Yes Indeed I do love the instructor. Other instructors that I had, I would usually say ‘I like them’ but this time I love my instructor 🙂

What not to love her when she’s pretty, engaging and oozes lots of sincerity. Ms Haseena Sham comes from a diverse family background and she embraced her beliefs on accepting diversity daily … Her actions spoke for her 😉

There were only 6 of us in the class so it was small and cosy. We divided into 2 groups of 3. My partners were two gentlemen. One, a graphic artist and the other, a RWS service provider. Both are in the attractions sector. I was the only one in the education sector.

All of us makes friends easily and during the short time together, we even went out for lunch together. I felt most comfortable interacting with them. Oh! I almost forgot to mention that among the 6 of us, we had a Filipino man. A very nice guy with a good singing voice 😉

Ok back to the topic of diversity …. what comes to our mind when we say “diversity”?

To me, it would mean accepting differences and so far, Alhamdulillah, I have no problem understanding, accepting and adjusting to a diverse environment or making friends from diverse backgrounds.

My workplace, internally so far, we had colleagues from Myanmar, Indonesia, Malaysia, India and China. I have to say that it has been a great pleasure knowing these colleagues.  Once you take away their nationality and race …. you will discover that they are just like ourselves. People who are good and kind.  I even supervised SA from Vietnam and my SA was so cute and lovable. Treated me like a big sister and always brought back souvenirs from their hometown.  He even continue to keep in contact with me after he graduated 🙂

Well, a summary of what was discussed during the course were as follows:

Things that we can do to promote diversity in our daily life.

  • Need to learn to appreciate differences and train ourselves to look with different perspectives. Do not “hang-on” to the habit of stereotyping people.
  • Learn to emphatise with one another.
  • Be willing to listen.
  • Remember the time when we were once in the state of negative feelings such as “Lonely, Disappointed, Outsider, Side-lined, Insulted, Disregard” etc. View others that they could also be feeling this way.
  • Communicate – Open communication is always good. Ask for clarification when needed, do not assume.
  • Trust and show respect – Treat people as how we want to be treated.
  • Create an environment that includes everyone (enable all to participate)
  • Encourage the sense of belonging with positive attitudes.
  • Be receptive and receiving at all times (Be grateful, give and take etc.)
  • Do not discriminate

The world is changing and its becoming common for us to share our environment with people from different nationality, race, language, culture, physical ability and skills. To adapt and promote an inclusive society (be it at home or work), we might have to change our long-time beliefs and habits.

Remember this quote:

“Labels are for can, Not for people!”

I love this quote …. I think it is something worth remembering and reflecting. When talking about people, we have to remember that we are also in the “people” category. So how we view other people, we need to remember that their eyes are also viewing us. So avoid viewing other people in a negative way.  God did not create us in different nations, language, cultures, physical form, physical abilities etc. for us to mock and hate one another … but rather God created us differently for us to learn and appreciate what each of us can offer. Diversity or variety …. it makes the world more interesting if only we do not succumb to prejudice.

During the course, we also learnt the importance of visual, verbal and vocal. When speaking to another person, it is important to remember to ensure our visual and vocal (tone of voice) do not transmit negative message.

So in a nutshell …. we can’t escape for a diverse environment with the world changing as it is and so we all must learn to accept diversity, not just in our workplace but also in society. Think of diversity as something that is good and interesting. Embrace it and I am sure we will be surprise at the gems that we can and will discover during our interactions with others 🙂

Khalas!

 

 

 

 

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