What's Different About Compassionate Diversity®

It’s no surprise that we live in a polarized world. It’s really easy to think, “If I’m right, then you’re wrong,” and we try to convince each other with facts and figures and “logical” arguments. But, we often don’t let someone else’s “facts” sway us. We tend to judge our own beliefs with our gut - how we feel about them.

I have found that, while there have been a few adjustments here and there, we tend to teach diversity and inclusion the same way we did years ago - through logic and facts. There have been a lot of articles written about why diversity training doesn’t work, but after over 20 years in this field, I know why:

  • First, we force people through classes that pile on guilt for some while leaving others feeling justified.
  • Second, we don’t teach a subject that is all about people in a way that actually connects with people. We teach to the head, and not to the heart.
  • Third, we fail to make connections for people about the personal benefits of things like self awareness and understanding others.

This is where Compassionate Diversity®  comes in. Compassionate Diversity® is a comprehensive approach to

  • seeing different perspectives,
  • understanding others, and
  • building bridges in understanding

that incorporates both the head and the heart. We develop compassion and affect change through understanding what others truly need from their perspective - not what we think they need.

HeartMath® Institute (www.heartmath.com) has been studying the power and intelligence of the human heart for over 25 years. They have found the electrical field of the heart is 60 times greater than that of the brain, and the heart’s electromagnetic field can be measured a few feet away from the body.

The implications for business and D&I are powerful.  It’s easy to accept, “We’re all human.” It takes no effort to agree with someone with a similar perspective. The differences, though, are another story. Those are what we judge as right or wrong, and it’s in those judgments that we get caught up in conflict.

When we connect at the heart, those differences become less of an obstacle. We can begin to see differences as interesting, rather than threatening. We cultivate curiosity instead of creating conflict. We let compassion drive our organizations.

Only when we connect at the heart level can we genuinely understand each other. And this is the work of Compassionate Diversity® - to connect at the heart level, to see things from other perspectives, and to affect change in new and meaningful ways.

And one more thing - Compassionate Diversity® is a developmental approach. What’s that mean? Well, it meets people where they are at, with what they are ready to learn. For example, when you’re learning math, you first learn addition then subtraction then multiplication. You can’t learn calculus until you’ve first learned algebra, geometry, and trig. Each concept you learn in math builds on the concepts you were previously taught.

It’s that way with Compassionate Diversity® . We learn about basic concepts first - like how awareness is key to understanding others and the importance of continuous learning - before we move on to more advanced topics. This doesn’t mean you’re not challenged... rather, you’re introduced to new information when you’re ready for it, so that you feel confident in applying your skills and able to take on new challenges.

Understanding diversity through the lens of compassion helps us not only better understand our own perspective, but see things from other perspectives. When we develop compassion, we can affect change through understanding what others truly need from their perspective not what we think they need.

If you want quick, practical tips for building more compassion into your organization, download our free e-book here.

@2018 daiOne, LLC

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