Talking About Differences

Arin N. Reeves
May 2016

Over the past few years, we have been hearing varying narratives on whether people feel that it has become easier or harder to talk about differences in the workplace today. Given that the foundation of creating inclusive workplaces is the ability to talk about differences, we ran a quick “temperature check” survey in February – March of 2016 to capture people’s general perceptions of how it feels to talk about differences today, in comparison to how it felt 10 years ago in 2006. It’s important to note that we did not design this “pulse survey” to assess whether it was actually easier or harder for people to talk about differences in their workplace(s) but whether people felt that it was easier or harder to talk about differences in their workplace(s). Because talking about differences is a necessary precursor to interacting, working and leading across differences, we want to assist workplaces in increasing comfort around and action towards this type of dialogue.

Think Smarter. Lead Better.

  • Strength lies in differences, not in similarities.

    Stephen R. Covey
  • Our ability to reach unity in diversity will be the beauty and the test of our civilisation.

    Mahatma Gandhi
  • Controversial' as we all know, is often a euphemism for 'interesting and intelligent.

    Kevin Smith
  • Wide differences of opinion in matters of religious, political, and social belief must exist if conscience and intellect alike are not to be stunted, if there is to be room for healthy growth.

    Theodore Roosevelt
  • Diversity and independence are important because the best collective decisions are the product of disagreement and contest, not consensus or compromise.

    James Surowiecki