It’s not enough to believe in diversity. You have to develop the ability to act upon it by defending your perspective and opinion when negative forces dictate otherwise. With so much “noise” in the marketplace your clarity and reasonable opinion can set the stage to protect the essential fundamentals of why global diversity, multiculturalism, and inclusion (DMI) are the positive and productive paths to our future.
You can help champion these efforts by implementing the following three steps that will ensure that DMI builds the correct course of action for us all.
1. Double Check Your Sources
Make sure that your sources and news materials are accurate, reputable, and even-handed. Double-check your resources on multiple internet websites and/or print articles. If a sentence includes a high percentage that seems odd, check it elsewhere for accuracy. Stand by your beliefs, but make sure your sources are valid.
2. Watch Sweeping Generalities. Know Your Facts
I recently wrote an article that stated that more than 250 mass shootings had been committed in America between January 1 and August 9, 2019. That may seem like a pretty gruesome tale to some; however, it’s a true statement WHEN you add how mass shootings are defined. I found the appropriate qualifier in a Forbes magazine article that defined the statement based on four or more killings at the same time. When I wrote the article, I sourced the statement by including the magazine link at the end of my article.
You can expect pushback when your opinions or statements are controversial. Do your research so that you can confidently respond when the naysayers attempt to back you in a corner with their pushback.
3. Personalize your Concerns And Show Empathy To Connect With Others
I am preparing to respond to a conservative Trump supporter who pushed back on my recent article I wrote and posted on LinkedIn urging people to break their silence on the state of our country. Although my response will counter his perspective, I respect the time and energy he took to state his claim. As much as possible, I want to understand his point of view without demeaning it. His demographic is important in the US, and I must try to understand his point of view. That’s looking at our disagreements from an empathetic perspective, with the goal of sharing ideas and opinions with a person who does not agree with me. The same process holds true with gaining some understanding of what a victim’s family is experiencing or on immigration issues, or how a family is coping with sudden financial hardships. Seeing a situation “on the other foot” will provide a balance between your personal feelings and what “the other” person is experiencing both on and off their job.
Use these three methods to fortify your opinion while respecting the perspectives of the person on the other side of the debate.
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Carole Copeland Thomas is a 27 year speaker, trainer and consultant specializing in global diversity, empowerment, multiculturalism and leadership issues.