Diversity Training.

To some people just hearing these two words put together makes them cringe. Some people embrace it just because it gives them a break from their daily routine. Others just don’t care; they just yawn in protest. Some trainers go to great lengths to make the training fun, but no information. Other trainers (out of fear of the subject) focus too much on information but no energy. Neither one of these approaches would yield a tangible return on investment. There is however, one key emotion that if left out of the equation the training would be completely worthless...

I’m talking about "discomfort."

The main purpose of the training is to provide information. But without energy the information would fall on deaf (and sleepy) ears. If you want the audience to truly understand the meaning of the training initiative and “live” the culture, you need to throw some emotion into the mix. They need to truly understand that not everyone thinks like them, talks like them, and believe in what they believe in. The best way to show them is to take them out of their comfort zone and lead them on a walk on the "discomfort side.” They need to see how real world issues are currently solved, should be solved, and how that translate into their actions at work. 

However, a trainer needs to be very careful how they lead that journey. Going down this road has the potential to open up old wounds. An trainer should be able to gauge the audience and effectively facilitate the journey in a way that enhances the audience’s understanding of the initiative. 

In other words, it’s not for the faint of heart. Business leaders should always consult with an experienced facilitator. Doing it on their own would cause more harm than good. 

Trust me.

I’ve seen enough disasters.