Jared was an emcee at the event and shares his inside perspective about what made the event so successful. We dive deep into the unconference format, how to instill the Write the Docs brand into the conference experience, how super volunteers can avoid burnout, what sessions stood out, and more. Also, Chris confesses that he has attended about 40 conferences this year, and explains a few reasons why.
Making sure communication does take place is particularly Making sure communication does take place is particularly challenging for diversity leaders because misconceptions, ambiguities, myths and simple misunderstandings often complicate the process of implementing diversity initiatives.
As you develop a communications strategy targeting various audiences, keep in mind that this is no place for shortcuts, and a onesize-fits-all approach generally will not work.
The people you want to reach represent not only many different cultures and backgrounds, but are also at different places along the continuum of awareness and understanding. You have multiple stakeholders, internally and externally, and your message should be tailored to fit each group.
Following are some other key points to keep in mind as you develop your diversity and inclusion communications program: Start at the beginning. Step one in any communications strategy is making sure you clearly define what diversity means to your organization. Defining diversity and clarifying your vision and objectives are part of the often-neglected process of developing a framework or context for your diversity and inclusion efforts.
Allow ample time for this process. At Union Bank, we spent the time to deliberate and refine our definition of diversity, which reads: There was a great deal of discussion about respecting similarities as well as differences. We decided to include this point, because similarities provide common ground that makes it easier to appreciate differences and empathize with others.
Choose the right messenger. Top executives should certainly be among those who deliver your messages, but sometimes a middle manager or employee leader may have an even greater impact.
Information overload is rampant today, so communicate in stages. Start by talking about your definition of diversity. This allows for dialogue at each stage in your communication process, which leads to greater understanding and encourages everyone to get involved.
Always include a call to action. Your call to action will be different for each audience. Your communications plan should also make strategic use of nonverbal messages. This is particularly effective in building credibility in your community.
Also, ensuring a wide range of diverse employees at all levels — from entry level to executive management — helps to reinforce true commitment to diversity and inclusion. Effective communication can make or break a company, a product, or a diversity initiative.
As a diversity leader, you are well-qualified to develop and execute a strategy that demonstrates understanding of your diverse audiences.
Tisa Jackson, vice president of diversity and inclusion for Union Bank, N. As of May 10,the bank had banking offices in California, Oregon, Washington and Texas and two international offices.
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