Dimension of Diversity
Race and/or gender are not the definition of diversity. Diversity is all of us and how we are so different. To better understand diversity it can be broken down into four different dimensions and classifications. These points will help you begin to pick apart the complex topic of diversity. Dimensions
1. Dimension may be hidden/ visible
a. Race, gender and possible age or wealth index may be a visible dimension that / would classify people into one group. b. Intelligent, non-religious, and vegetarian are term that would identify a person to one group that would be hidden, until of course the person shared the information. b.i. Example- Sarah is a Caucasian, female in 40’s that is athletically built, truthful and caring. The first 4 descriptive words are physical traits that people can see. The last two characteristics are something that are not seen, but after time spent with Sarah it would be known. 2. Dimensions of diversity are found within groups as well as individuals a. Each person is different, so even when there is a group of like people there are going to be difference within the group. a.i. Example- In a small diversity class of students there are 20 or so students that are all working towards passing the class taught by Madison. All thought the group of people all are working towards the same goal; they are all very different in their approach to passing the class. They are all students, but they are graduating at different times, they have different working styles, communication styles and are different ages. 3. Dimensions of diversity are in a constant state of flux
a. Individuals are constantly changing as well as the environment around them a.i. Example- When Danielle B. is at school she sees herself and acts as a student, but when she is at home or with family she sees herself and acts like a mother. 4. Dimensions of diversity are not always clear cut or easily defined a. Diversity is not the same to everyone
a.i. Some people believe that diversity is simple race and/ or gender.
Diversity is multidimensional and has various classifications from different scholars. Breaking down diversity helps us to become more aware of differences among individuals.
Classifications of diversity
1. Personal Characteristic (hidden/visible)
a. Appearance, health, educational background, family/marital status, faith, religion and recreation 2. Location Characteristics
a. Housing, neighborhood, city, state, country
3. Work Characteristics
a. Income, seniority, department, company, work status, field of work, paid/ unpaid employee, location 4. Population Characteristics
a. Ability, age, sexual orientation, gender, ethnic orgin
How you perceive the listed characteristics also can classify a person because it makes them different from the next person. Diversity is an extremely complex and broad topic that many people just ignore. Gaining an understanding, and indulging in others that are different than you will build awareness in your knowledge box.
Now that there is a better way of wrapping our minds around diversity; skills can be addressed. Diversity skills are really just people skills. They are techniques that we use to better understand and work with people who are different than us. The key phrase to understand is “different than us”.
Communication is one of the most important skills that encompass the way people process and share information. It requires: 1. Active Listening
a. Really understanding and hearing what the person is saying and finding interest in their topic. 2. Various ways/ styles to communicate effectively with people a. Aggressive, passive aggressive, and passive
b. Communicate differently among groups
c. Body language
d. Add some humor or light to the context
d.3.a.a. “results suggest that relational factors, such as one's humor, may be important to the enactment of organizational...
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