Workplace Diversity Mini-Lesson

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Workplace Diversity Mini-Lesson

 

Lesson Objectives

 By the end of the mini-lesson, students should have gained an understanding for why diversity in the workplace matters. Additionally, they should be able to identify the different types of diversity and understand challenges raised by workplace diversity. Finally, by the end of this lesson students should be able to describe how I-O Psychologists help organizations manage diversity.

 

“International Meeting Activity”

  1. Purpose: This activity is intended to introduce the lesson on workplace diversity and illustrate assumptions we all make in social interactions.
  2. Group Size: 5-6 students per groups
  3. Materials: Group Instruction Sheets (Culture Norms Instructions), Powerpoint (Workplace Diveristy Mini-Lesson Powerpoint)
  4. Instructions:
  5. The instructor will break the class into groups of 5-6.
  6. Each group will receive a sheet with a set of instructions for them to follow (See: “Cultural Norms” Instructions).
  7. Each group will have a minute or two to discuss how they will approach the meeting.
  8. Task Instructions: The task that each member of the class must accomplish is to introduce themselves to 3 other members of the class (from other groups) and learn one interesting fact about each person.
  9. Give the class 5-10 minutes of interaction and then call the group back together for discussion.
  • Discussion:
  1. What norms did you observe in the other group?
  2. How well do you think you did?
  3. How would this apply to work settings?

 

“Cultural Norms” Instructions

  • Group 1: (Alpha)
    • Use handshakes as greetings.
    • Maintain at least a 2-foot distance (by backing away if necessary).
    • Stare at people you talk with.
    • Never stay with the other members of your group.
  • Group 2: (Bravo)
    • Use a nod of the head as greeting.
    • Maintain a 6-inch distance between you and others.
    • Make initial eye contact, but look away as discussion begins.
    • Never refer to oneself by name, only by group membership.
  • Group 3: (Charlie)
    • Use a loud “LA” as greeting.
    • Maintain at least a 2-foot distance (by backing away if necessary).
    • Never make eye contact with people you talk with.
    • Only refer to yourself by name and never by group membership (correcting people if necessary).

Full List:

  • Greetings:
    • Use handshakes as greetings.
    • Use a nod of the head as greeting.
    • Use a loud “LA” as greeting.
  • Personal Space:
    • Maintain at least a 2-foot distance (by backing away if necessary).
    • Maintain a 6-inch distance between you and others.
  • Eye Contact:
    • Stare at people you talk with.
    • Make initial eye contact, but look away as discussion begins.
    • Never make eye contact with people you talk with.
  • Individualism/Collectivism:
    • Never stay with the other members of your group.
    • Never refer to oneself by name, only by group membership.
    • Only refer to yourself by name and never by group membership (correcting people if necessary).
    • Talk about oneself to the exclusion of other members of your group.
    • Never leave the other members of your group.

 

Activity In-Context

This mini-lesson activity would act as an introduction to talking about concepts and issues related to workplace diversity. Following the activity and discussion, it would be appropriate to move on to a wider lesson focused on why diversity in the workplace matters, different types of diversity, challenges of diversity, and how I-O Psychologists can help manage diversity.

 

Sources

Source: This mini-lesson activity is sourced from the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP)’s online resources for instructors of Industrial and Organizational Psychology. (Link:  www.siop.org/Instruct/Diversity/DivIntro.aspx )

 

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