How We Approach Our Inclusive Diversity Efforts
Guidelines for Effective Dialogue
1) Try On: Create a learning environment, try out language and model behavior.
2) It’s OK to Disagree: It’s expected that we all don’t see things exactly the same way.
3) No Attack, Blame or Shame of Self or Other: We accept people where they are and remain open to the possibility for growth. We engage in dialogue to move forward.
4) Practice Self-Focus: Don’t speak for others (we/they think or feel). Rather, speak for yourself (I think or feel).
5) Practice Both/And Thinking: Develop the skill of holding two thoughts in your mind that may seem in contradiction but don’t have to be. Change “But” to “And” in your language.
6) Notice Process and Content: Process is how we engage, content is what we engage about. Both are important.
7) Be Aware of Intent and Impact: The impact of your words may be quite different from your intent, but impact is what matters.
8) Maintain Confidentiality: Effective and open dialogue requires trust.
Understanding The Levels
Inclusive diversity requires conversations and change to take place at many levels.
At Lehigh, we can all take part in this change no matter what our role is.
Interpersonal: How we interact on a one-on-one basis. How we treat each other as individuals. Everyone engages at this level.
Cultural: Our shared values, the unwritten rules of our group dynamics. We all work on this level as well when we are working in groups on campus.
Institutional: The policies, procedures and systems of the university. The Board of Trustees and senior leadership mainly impact this level.
These are parts of the framework the CEC and the Senior Officers have committed to learning and practicing. We encourage you to ask members of these groups how they are putting these concepts into action.
Copyright VISIONS, Inc., used by permission.