How do you feel about diversity? And how to learn from difference

When was the last time you encountered someone who was really, and I mean really different to you? Perhaps you found yourself in a situation that challenged how you perceive the world, that picked at the foundation of what you believe is right and wrong, somewhat disorientating even.

How did you feel? How did you relate to this “difference”?

Some fear the “other” becuase it can make us feel alone and left out, not fitting in.

Some appreciate difference due to its potential to help us grow, learn, or more grounded in our principles after they’ve got tested and stood firm despite the challenge.

Different perspectives help us innovate, create better products, expand our minds, develop empathy and foster tolerance. But they can also make us feel more alone, less confident, more isolated, and anxious.

A wonderful tool that we are introducing to our students at the International Centre for Coaching Supervision is David Clutterbuck’s Diversity Awareness Ladder, which outlines the conversations you might want to consider having with yourself as we as the conversations you might want to have with “the other”.

What do you think: Is step 5 on the ladder what everybody should aim for? Or might fear sometimes be an appropriate response to difference? Are we taking diversity and inclusion too far in this day and age? Or does it mean we’re missing out on all the things we could learn from each other?

With Love