Role of Facilitators as Diversity Promoters

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Facilitators of different working groups are a great source of empowering and developing social diversity. Developing awareness of diversity and incorporating it into training processes is a crucial skill. As facilitators, we should always guarantee that our trainings create such spaces for people to articulate themselves and be involved on equal conditions with the others.

Some studies show that diversity is beneficial, leading to greater creativity and innovation. Others, however, show that it leads to more conflict and chaos.

Heterogeneous groups will often be known for performing much better or much worse than average. Homogeneous groups, in contrast, will basically remain at the same average performance level at all times. Greater diversity leads to greater creativity, but only when it is managed well.

Diversity as a Learning Culture

It is not enough to collect a diverse group of people, put them onto a team together, close the door, and wait for great results. To adjust for this, quota regulations, codes of conduct, or mentoring programs on diversity are implemented in the working sphere more and more frequently.

Implementing a culture of diversity in a working environment can lead to a competitive advantage. Therefore, we should also implement a culture of diversity within trainings on topics not directly related to diversity, such as project management, leadership skills, or analytical competence. leaders’ attitudes play a crucial role in the successful implementation of a culture of diversity in their working environment. In our case, facilitator is a hidden leader.

Reflection and Change of Perspectives

Gaining Diversity Consciousness is a process. For facilitating this consciousness facilitators need first to become aware about their habits and thoughts. See: Diversity Consciousness

The impact of a teaching, learning or facilitating method lies in the facilitator’s attitude, not in the method itself. Therefore we need to understand and question

  • our own habits and culture
  • our team’s habits and cultures as well as those of our participants
  • the societal structures that impede or slow down processes of change towards equality and participation.
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