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Managing Inclusion

November 12, 2008


Yesterday, we had a team exercise at work…it was fun, interesting, and technical and most importantly gave me a new perspective of thought!!


Let me give u the analogy with respect to the non-professional world.


With the advent of new technologies, Internet etc, the world is more and more becoming a global village. If you are reading this…you are fortunate enough to have a platform to express your views, discuss, debate with global citizens.
It’s about the diversities we have among ourselves…All through the world, there are laws, legislations, reservations etc that aim at eliminating or corporately speaking ‘Managing’ these diversities and treating everyone equally or rather trying to.
Well, first basic question I got was “Is it possible to manage something which is a fact?? Already existing and very much evident??” Yes…I am talking about various discriminations that were and are there based on silly things like colour, place, gender etc…
My answer would be clearly “NO”….how can we manage something we don’t have control on?? [my experience in root cause analysis helped me here]  Its like telling managing time…When we say we are not able to manage our time…. we imply we are not able manage our work with time!! Isn’t it??
So my argument is that when we say we are managing diversity…we actually mean ‘Managing Inclusion’!! Its about accepting the diversities in others and if possible finding out similarities among ourselves!! So I found the name very apt for the course…
Coming to the exercise again,
It was rightly pointed out that Diversity is not based on ethnic background, culture or color etc…Diversity is just various points in which we differ….[we meaning all of us], some may be evident physically and some may not…..
We had very good exercises like stereotypes by which we commonly tend to form opinion about…generally negative!
One of the best things of the day was the video shown. It was a video popularly called “Blue eyes, brown eyes” ….I suggest you should definitely watch it.
It tells us about a teacher (Jane Elliot) trying to teach and make the students in the class understand about disparities in America based on color….It was first shot and developed by her when Martin Luther King died [30 years ago]. Through this exercise, She tries to make small kids in their primary school understand why it’s a silly thing to discriminate based on color [as in context then].
Though the video shows mainly about color discrimination, it could well be applied to others. Infact it’s a fact that everyone knows – “To discriminate based on color/gender is as silly as to discriminate on color of eyes” – but many don’t tend to realize that fact!! Don’t you agree?? So, its all about accepting diversities and working accordingly. A good team leader/manager would try and make his team understand this I think…so that’s a take home point.
My most important inference and thing which I felt at the end of the day is :
It does not apply to only your proffessional life….does it???
Each individual is unique and is different and diversities exist…..its all about how well you can accept one another …… My mom used to say, “loving someone knowing all their weakenesses and drawbacks (imprefections) and is loving truly ….Pure love that we find among kids….kids coz of their innocence….If one can evolve and grow preserving such innocence….they would be happy eternally….as i said in my previous post….happiness is within you!! And as Axinia said “Love is the water of Life”
11 Comments leave one →
  1. November 12, 2008 4:30 pm

    Very true Sahaja… we should not discriminate among ourselves.. but life doesn’t works that way.. see how will you accept a person’s behaviour or the person who continous to do the wrong things even after so much of insistance from others.

    As kids we don’t mind about their wrongs else as a kid it doesn’t matters. But as we are growing up we are forced to see some shocking truths which keeps us away from showering the love on all.

    “Happiness is within us”- again a true word. But at times we have to get anger for all the things which are happening against the peace and love. That makes us human.

  2. November 12, 2008 11:21 pm

    I think Nita had a good article on it some months ago… we really need stereotyping, it helps in many ways but it is silly to make it dominate our behaviour (and it does, unfortunately!).

    You know, whatever I wear – like a coat done in France, very elegant and modest, people say”oh, you look so Russian! – in a good way (of course)”, although when I am in Russia locals say I have a very western touch… No matter what I dress, it always looks same. what to do? 🙂

    People will stereotype, and sometimes we can laugh at it and actually even enjoy…

  3. November 13, 2008 5:25 am

    how true, how true!! though we have come a long way, the descrimination of gneder and caste and religion still exist in India.. God knows when Man will learn!!

  4. November 13, 2008 10:50 am

    @ Sakhi

    God knows when Man(???) will learn!! huh……….

    God knows when Woman will learn 😛 😛

  5. November 13, 2008 6:54 pm

    @ Kanagu – I agree that people do exist who keep committing mistakes and dont realise…..and its really difficult to accept………One of my beliefs is non-co operation is the best weapon and forgiveness is the best revenge!!

    We cannot keep shutting our mouths if something attrocious thing is happening!!
    But we can try and let people understand……..its like, once we realise and develop a nice attitude, it makes things easier to make others also cultivate……and we can start off a gradual change….

    The thing you raised is certainly valid and true…..Its a fact….
    what I said, regarding daily life…….we can try accomodating as a common man….in our day-to-day life!!!

    @ Axinia – Sterotypes hmm…..I asked the same question to the presenter…..streotypes are generally taken as negative…..and his answer was – they are generally negative for the simple fact that, negative things get to be noticed and get to be spread fast from person to person…..
    exceptions do exist!! but might be misinterpreted…..for eg, we did an exercise for writing down what comes in ur mind first when u think of various nationalities like Indian, Dutch, American, etc….and HR, IT , Tech departmenst etc…..
    most of them were negative…….and few which seemed positive were interpreted negative when asked….like HR – always smiling – it seems good but was interpreted like they do nothing and simply smile and convince u !!etc etc…..

    @ Sakhi – Thanks 🙂 and I am pretty sure you meant Mankind when you said Man…..yes na??

    @ Sharad – Ironic isnt it??? the post is about inclusiveness and look [:P]

  6. November 14, 2008 6:53 am

    @ Sharad

    Topi apne size ki ho to pehn nahi leni chahiye!! 😛 😛 I meant Manknid, human beings, homo sepeins… 😛 😛

    @ Sahaja

    Yeah i meant, Mankind… when will guys understand!! ( and here with guys, i mean “Sharad” !!) 😀 😀

  7. renuka permalink
    November 14, 2008 4:43 pm

    very true point…..if we could just look at a person as he is instead of thinking about gender, color etc….would make world so much better….but again, everyone has to think like this…not few people…hopefully this article has changed a few minds [:)]

  8. November 15, 2008 2:48 am

    Man (and woman) never learn . . . all the problems in this world can be traced to some form of organised discrimination or the other . . . every damn thing in this world is designed to be discriminatory . . . equality exists almost nowhere in the world . . . and it will not change . . . barbarians (humans) will remain barbarians . . .

    Sahaja : Raj, I understand what you mean……Mankind has got this gift of intellect that seperates him from being just another animal…..(part of evolution)….The obvious result of intellect is being able to discriminate….what I said here, now that its a fact that we cant help noticing dissimilarities, why not use it for the better…why not highlight the other side of coin (similiarities)??…..Hmmm…..change is law of life…it would change definitely…but how when and where dont know…all we can do is steer the change towards something that might give us a better world….dont you think so??

  9. November 16, 2008 2:28 pm

    hmm dats a good one ramya… but after all d conditioning given to us by d society i thought its not possible to reatin the innocence of a child…but life is beautiful isnt it.. it shows itc colours juss in time u lose ur hope.. n here i am …now thinking that ..its not impossible .. thnks to u n renu..

  10. November 16, 2008 5:56 pm

    Thanks anna….Hm ya, Just as you think its the end, God will show its just a bend 😛

  11. November 18, 2008 8:47 am

    yes Sahaja, discrimination should be forbidden , but it exists everywhere in the world. and this is mainly due to the egoistic people who feel they are superior to others, be it the color, race , religion or nationality. and one can never change such people except they themselves realize what is sense and what is nonsense.

    Sahaja : True, we know it should not exist but still cant help ourselves discriminating……may be, we should acknowledge the disparities and respect them instead of taking them as a measure of comparision :-I

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