Understanding and Managing Diversity

Through reading Understanding and Managing Diversity by Harvey and Allard (2012), I have noted a lot of things that sparked my interest from the book. However, there are a few that stand out for me in the readings. It is very interesting to mention the time that people take to judge others when they get to meet for the first time. From these readings, psychologists have estimated that when strangers meet for the first time, they take between the first seven to seventeen seconds of interaction to make their judgments of each other (Harvey & Allard, 2012). Yet, the attributions that people make in this situation are just subjective judgments, which have nothing related to factual situations. The readings interestingly describe the male advantage, as it discusses the privileges that males have over females. According to the authors, men have some privileges that they enjoy at the expense of women, but they are always reluctant to admit that they have them. It is because they fear that the privileges may be cut down, recognized or ended as a whole (Harvey & Allard, 2012). However, they are always quick to admit that women are disadvantaged, as compared to them.

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A change process was initiated within me after reading the piece about learning to negotiate. The author has highlighted the ways in which an individual can be able to communicate efficiently with people from other cultures. Cultural misunderstandings in communication processes are born from human tendencies, and they hinder communication processes by causing misunderstandings, conflicts and frustrations to pile (Harvey & Allard, 2012). Nonetheless, I now have an understanding that for a multi-cultural communication to be efficient and pleasing, both communicators need to approach the communication process from a multi-cultural angle. It makes communicators to adapt to multi-cultural style elements that are pre-defined. In addition, over time I have been having a strong opposition towards the gay community and their fights to be recognized as equals to straight people in society. This is because I have a belief that no man was created to be sexually interested to another man and likewise for women. In spite of my strong point of stand, the gay community has been fighting for their rights day in day out. After going through the reading by Gerald Hunt, which discusses whether people of all sexual orientations are equal, I seem to be moving towards the opposite direction of my stand. From opinion polls surveyed by the author, the societys pockets of resistance toward the gay community seem to be crumbling by the day, as more and more people are becoming tolerant of them (Harvey & Allard, 2012).

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I have gained a lot of information about inclusive employers, the qualities they need to possess, and they type of actions that are needed for a successful inclusive organization. One of the factors that an employee, who is seeking to be inclusive, should take into account is to listen and learn (Harvey & Allard, 2012). Listening to others about their opinions and ideas is a very helpful method that promotes inclusiveness. Thus, I can engage my employees in a listen and talk situation, and be able to gain information from them that can diversify my inclusiveness as a manager. Inclusiveness is an important ingredient in the delivery of optimal performance and innovation (Harvey & Allard, 2012). It is because all minds are given a chance to air their views and their diversity in terms of culture. I can also use the acquired knowledge about inclusiveness to build a culture in my organization that will engage, entice and excite all people within the organization. The existence of such a culture will allow employee satisfaction to a positive extent. I can also be able to treat all employees the way they are, and agree with their different approaches and perceptions, knowledge, experiences and styles.

Reading this book has polished my understanding of religion and how human beings overuse it. Workplace conflicts, which result from differences in religion, are frequent and their occurrence can be traced from the exaggerations, in which people take religion (Harvey & Allard, 2012). It is argued in the book that the dress codes and the manner in which people conduct themselves in workplaces can make them seem like they want to change the religions of others. This is a dangerous scenario, as one can appear to be posing his or her religion as superior, compared to the rest. Thus, human beings should know the extents they need to go, so as not to overstep and cause workplace conflicts. However, organizational leaders at this point are advised on how they need to manage religion in workplaces with the hope of minimizing discrimination. It happens when an organization is seen to be favoring a single religion, while others might be offended and their work performances can be hindered (Harvey & Allard, 2012).

Lastly, the discussion about diversity issues is a crucial way, in which an international organization or an organization that employs people from different cultures can base its organizational cultures. Diversity issues are vast, ranging from age, race, hiring processes, transgender issues, discrimination, and other forms of disabilities. Organizations should approach these issues with caution, as they can land an organization into legal battles with non-governmental organizations and other individuals. In addition, if an organization is seen as not taking into consideration diversity issues, it may not have a good relationship between itself and the community it operates in (Harvey & Allard, 2012).

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