ADR ADVISOR Simma Lieberman works with organizations and individuals who want to dramatically increase their profit and productivity by creating more inclusive cultures. She is an internationally known consultant, coach, speaker and author. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’m Jewish. My first personal memory of antisemitism was when I was eight years old. I was in the synagogue with my father on Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar, a day of fasting, praying, and atonement.
We were engaged in silent prayer when all that silence was broken by loud yelling and banging as the door crashed in. A group of young white Christian boys were attacking us. They threw things at us and called us names like “sheeny” and ‘kike.” “Go back to your country. You don’t belong here,” they screamed.
I was terrified. We knew about the Nazi genocide of over 6 million Jews and other people who did not fit the Aryan “bloodline’. Many in our neighborhood had numbers tattooed on their arms from the Nazi concentration/extermination camps. All of that trauma was passed down to us.
I remember thinking, “How could they hate us so much? They don’t even know us.” At that early age, I wanted to get to know people who were different than me and have them get to know me so we wouldn’t hate each other. I also realized that to end hate, stop violence against us and find safety, Jewish people needed to join other people who had experienced discrimination. That became my mission.
I’ve been facilitating cross-generational dialogues for over ten years. I started them because I was tired of one-dimensional conversations filled with bias and wrong assumptions about people who were older or younger. After the first three sessions, it was clear to me that we have a lot to learn from each other. Cross-generational mentoring became an integral part of my inclusive leadership coaching process
People who participate in my cross-generation dialogues are always surprised at the connections they make with people a lot younger or a lot older. They find new ways to collaborate as whole people with multiple identities.
Talking about race with people who are different from you can be awkward and uncomfortable, but it’s necessary and doable. Racism exists, racial conflict exists, and inequality still exists.
Even some people who work in the diversity and inclusion field stay in their comfort zone, and still almost only interact with people who are like them.
After facilitating conversations about race and other differences for over 25 years using our 3D Process, (Diversity, Difference and Dialogue.) we’ve found what works and what doesn’t. At the end of this newsletter, you’ll find a few of our best practices.
or… Why There is No Room for Naysayers and Negative Viber
A long-term client recently called me worried that Diversity and Inclusion would be put on the business back burner. “What will happen to support for Diversity and Inclusion now that Trump is president,” he asked.
Here are three no-cost, very simple diversity management practices you can begin today. You may think that these are so obvious, you don’t need to be told, but I want you to be aware of whether or not you practice these with people who are very different than you, or who you don’t know. It’s easy to greet the same people every day, however, I’m suggesting you move out of your comfort zone. You’ll rapidly notice your comfort zone expanding as well as employee participation and creativity.