Turning Diversity Tension into Diversity Dialogue: Laying the Foundation

Sondra Thiederman, PhD

February 29, 2012 (Part I) 10:30-11:45am
April (date to be announced on this site) (Part II)

Webinar: A Seminar That Comes to You
For Access information, please call NEPDEC at 570-262-6597.

Part I: This webinar focuses on how to lay the foundation for productive diversity-related dialogue in the workplace. The program begins with a discussion of the benefits of having courageous dialogue around diversity. It then surveys the types of conversations that can arise in a diverse workplace. The bulk of the program describes the three skills needed to prepare for these often difficult conversations. These skills include how to become “Diversity Fit,” that is, able to identify the emotions that are apt to arise during such encounters, how to accurately assess intent, and how to avoid allowing one’s past experiences to interfere with effective dialogue.

Part II: After a brief re-cap of Part I, this section surveys five cognitive skills and strategies for enhancing participants’ ability to turn tense conversations into opportunities for greater understanding and a better working relationship. An example of just one of these skills is how to identify productive goals for the conversation. The program then concludes with one or more Follow-Up Actions.

Sondra Thiederman is one of the nation’s leading experts on workplace diversity, cross-cultural business, and bias reduction. As President of Cross-Cultural Communications, a San Diego-based training firm, Sondra has 25 years experience as a speaker, trainer, and author helping professionals in Fortune 500 companies, public sector organizations, and dozens of associations find ways to successfully navigate our increasingly diverse workplaces.

Since receiving her doctorate with an emphasis on cross-cultural studies from UCLA, Sondra has helped hundreds of groups develop solutions to their cross-cultural and diversity leadership challenges. Among her clients are such leading organizations as General Motors, Xerox Corporation, Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, Marriott Corporation, the Mayo Clinic, Century 21 Real Estate, American Express, The Federal Reserve Bank, Motorola, and AT&T. She has also addressed notable associations including the Arthritis Foundation, the Mortgage Bankers Association, the American Society of Association Executives, and the American Immigration Lawyers Association. In addition, she has served as consultant to the University of California and the American Cancer Society and has been appointed by Elizabeth Dole to serve on the Diversity Cabinet of the American Red Cross.

Sondra has extensive media experience including mention in such national publications as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and U.S.A Today. She is published in professional journals, and has written on diversity for the web site Monster.com. She is the author of four books including the award-winning Profiting in America’s Multicultural Marketplace and, most recently, Making Diversity Work: Seven Steps for Defeating Bias in the Workplace.

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