July 14, 2012

Communication and Diverse Groups of People

For this week’s assignment, we were asked to think about cultural diversity we see in our colleagues at school, in our neighborhood, in our workplace, and also, possibly, within our family. Then we are to consider all the aspects that make up culture, including race, religion, political affiliation, sexual orientation, varying abilities, and so on.
Here are the questions we were asked to think about:
·       Do you find yourself communicating differently with people from different groups and cultures?
·       If yes, in what ways do you communicate differently?
·       Based on what you have learned this week, share at least three strategies you could use to help you communicate more effectively with the people or groups you have identified.

Diversity exists in all areas listed above. In the workplace, especially, there are different groups of people to communicate with: colleagues, parents, and children. There are definitely different strategies to use in communicating with each of these groups of people.
In interacting with colleagues, it is important to keep an open mind and be attentive while listening to them. It is important to take everything in and ask clarifying questions before passing judgment on a person.

In interacting with parents, it is important to make sure that your tone and body language isn’t “saying” something that would contradict your words. Again, it is equally important to keep an open mind when listening to parents about their child and making sure that you don’t pass judgment based on a parent’s family culture and values.

Thirdly, in interactions with children, it is important to speak at their level and listen attentively to their needs as well. As educators, children learn from us, which includes our body language, tones, and gestures. We have to be able to interact on their level, and promote positive body language and speaking.  

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