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For Managers and Employees: How to Transform Your Diversity and Inclusion Program From Stagnation to Action

For Managers and Employees: How to Transform Your Diversity and Inclusion Program From Stagnation to Action

We are all aware of the Starbucks fiasco; over 800 stores are scheduled to shut down for unconscious bias training. While I commend actions being taken, I believe it’s a bandaid approach to solving an issue that takes more than one afternoon and a lot of well known people to plan and facilitate a training of this magnitude. Starbucks had the misfortune (or fortune - it’s all about perspective) of being in the spotlight for a short period of time, and they had to take immediate acton before sales plummeted even further, as a result. However, many more companies are facing the same kind of issues as Starbucks; they are just not getting amplified coverage for their actions. 

I have been thinking about this issue rather extensively and wondering if the topic of diversity and inclusion is just that, a topic that sounds good in theory but has gone sour when it comes to planning and implementing an effective strategy. While we are headed in a positive direction and some companies have implemented a policy or processare managers and employees really embracing the priority practices that come with understanding different perspectives? Implementation of a quality strategy takes commitment, time, and patience within all levels of an organization. 

Some food for thought on how to take action below. 

If you are in a management position or a part of a human resources team, here are three ways to get your company on the right track towards a corporate culture that embraces diversity and inclusion: 

1. Create a safe space for dialogue to take place: Encourage staff to provide ideas and reassure them that their feedback is confidential and will be taken into consideration to further the D&I strategy. 

2. Survey your employees: Conduct an anonymous survey to better understand employee perspectives on this issue. Ask them for ideas and do not assume you know what someone else is thinking.  

3. Offer Ongoing Professional Development Opportunities: Enhance the knowledge base of your employees through articles, trainings, workshops, and lunch and learns to encourage dialogue and additional learning to gain different perspectives on diversity.


If you are an employee, here are three ways you can start impactful dialogue about diversity and inclusion within your company: 

1. Believe in Yourself:  First thing is first; realize you have a voice and a unique perspective to offer your company. If something is bothering you, speak to the appropriate representative within your company.  

2. Start Thoughtful Dialogue: With a unique perspective comes responsibility. Turn your complaints into productive conversations by discussing a problem followed up with an idea or potential solution. 

3. Limit the Gossiping: Gossip tends to manifest negativity, toxicity, and stagnation. If you hear colleagues complaining, choose to stay out of the conversation, or interject with a productive comment. 

Keep in mind that these tips are not quick fixes; it takes time for change to happen. It’s just a part of how we operate as human beings. We all have to start somewhere.

Maximize the Impact of Your Global Interactions with Papilia

Each day I am astonished by how much I continue to learn through my experiences with Papilia. I am constantly reminded by how fascinating people are; add culture into the mix, and we are now dealing with another set of special circumstances which need to be acknowledged and understood. 

The original concept for Papilia was to provide business and leisure travelers with a customized packing list, culture etiquette tips, and shopping advice. The goal was to help each person feel confident and prepared for their trip prior to departure so they could focus on what actually matters when you travel: to absorb local culture, to develop meaningful relationships, and to create lasting memories. Our original mission was to, "Travel More. Worry Less."

Throughout this journey, I have listened to embarrassing travel-related faux pas, and "I probably shouldn't have done of that" moments from travelers. I spent time thinking about how Papilia's mission could impact the lives of travelers in a more thoughtful way, (in addition to the personalized traveler itinerary). After many months of brainstorming ideas, and reflecting upon global perceptions of culture in the United States and abroad, I came up with a solution that I'm really passionate about.

Papilia now offers customized cross-cultural and international etiquette training and coaching for businesses and individuals who want to improve upon their strategic international relationships or expand their portfolio to develop partnerships internationally. (Detail on these and other trainings are provided on Sophia's personal website and the Papilia website.) 

Our new mission, "Maximize the Impact of Your Global Interactions," addresses a greater need many people are facing and want to better understand. Cultural intricacies are complex, but they are key to successful interactions and will also facilitate a deeper appreciation for local culture and surroundings. 

These training and coaching sessions will also integrate a component that is near and dear to my heart. Mindfulness. In order to interact with other cultures, you have to be mindful of your own interactions. I will incorporate what I have learned from my yoga teacher training to create an experience that will enhance your professional and personal life if you are receptive to it.

Just an FYI: I have a Papilia site and a personal site. Feel free to contact me on either site. I will typically share professional development, personal lessons learned, and other valuable insights on my personal site. Papilia focuses on training and services with a greater focus on travel preparedness and travel inspiration.

I am so excited for this next phase. My ultimate goal is to empower you with the proper tools needed to succeed in any professional or personal setting. 

If you are interested in taking the next step or finding out more information: Please fill out this initial survey so I can understand your training or coaching needs.

If you aren't ready yet, I would love your feedback to my ONE ASK: What is your single biggest communication challenge? 

...and remember...

Culture makes us who we are.

Perception defines how we act.

Knowledge is power.


I look forward to hearing from you wherever you are in the world.