Respecting Diversity in the Training Environment


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In a train­ing room, as in the work­place as a whole, peo­ple have dif­fer­ent views, back­grounds, pref­er­ences, and learn­ing styles. When you facil­i­tate a train­ing event, respect­ing the diver­sity of your group is essen­tial to the over­all suc­cess of the ini­tia­tive. You have only a brief amount of time to ensure that every­one feels com­fort­able, and to set a tone of mutual respect among the group.

Below are some help­ful tips:

  • Always treat par­tic­i­pants fairly and equally.
  • Encour­age all par­tic­i­pants to share their thoughts and ideas.
  • Call on par­tic­i­pants to respond to one another—not just to you.
  • Each time you put par­tic­i­pants into pairs or tri­ads, cre­ate new work groups (rather than have them always work with the same people).
  • Truly lis­ten to what each of your learn­ers has to say. Don’t dis­count any ideas or comments.
  • Be aware that some par­tic­i­pants nat­u­rally learn a new skill faster than oth­ers do but that this doesn’t nec­es­sar­ily mean they learn it “better.”
  • Encour­age every­one to see the worth of ideas that are not their own.
  • Do your best to cre­ate a learn­ing envi­ron­ment in which every­one feels wel­come and important.

When you have a diverse train­ing group, it’s impor­tant to make sure from the out­set that every­one is on the same page regard­ing what’s expected of them and what they expect to gain from the train­ing. Start­ing out with a brief activ­ity in which they ver­bal­ize their expec­ta­tions (things like “no cell phone calls,” “come back from break on time,” etc.) can help to cre­ate a con­sen­sus regard­ing gen­eral guide­lines for a good train­ing experience.

A train­ing envi­ron­ment is an ideal place for par­tic­i­pants to learn from each oth­ers sim­i­lar­i­ties and dif­fer­ences. The fact that every­one is diverse and unique makes your learn­ing envi­ron­ment that much more col­lab­o­ra­tive. It would be pretty bor­ing if we were all the same!

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Monique Castillo
Monique Castillo is an Impact Performance Specialist with knowledge and background in customer service, sales, coaching and mentoring. When she is not helping customers improve their business, she is also a world traveler, gym enthusiast, and an aspiring foodie.


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