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Choosing the best diversity workshops depends upon workforce dynamics, organizational needs, and whether the workshop is fulfilling a legal requirement or addressing a known problem. It is also wise to determine whether the organization or contractor offering the workshop has an adequate system for maintaining peace during the event. This includes setting ground rules for conduct, understanding how to defuse tension, and otherwise managing the tone of the event.
When picking diversity workshops, it is advisable to first decide if the event is to take place on or off-site. A short, on-site event will often be sufficient for organizations with ongoing diversity training and few related problems. Off-site programs tend to be best suited to groups who expect the program to last a day or more. This can be for groups who have issues to resolve or who are having a diversity workshop for the first time.
Another issue to consider when picking diversity workshops is whether the program should have a general tone or if it is meant to address a specific issue. There are several different kinds of specialized diversity workshops such as those that cover gender, sexuality, and people with disabilities. General workshops are usually sufficient for most groups, while specific programs tend to be best for teams with a specific problem to address or who serve a particular group.
Diversity workshops are often more successful when the moderator is adept at breaking down the participants’ hesitation to discuss this often controversial issue. This can include starting the event with an icebreaker, establishing a positive tone, and encouraging those who participate in the discussion. Good moderators will typically be able to read a group and adjust activities in order to increase the comfort level of its members.
A diversity workshop will often be more successful if it is compelling for the participants. Particularly if the workshop is part of an ongoing diversity program, a presenter who either has new ideas about diversity or who can cover a specific issue that is relevant to the group will usually inspire more enthusiasm. These elements can be used to encourage attendance in instances where participation is not required.
Which diversity workshop to pick also depends upon the responsibilities of the people attending the program. Many staff members will only require a general program that offers strategies, examples, and basic orientation. An executive team will usually require a more detailed program that focuses on how to manage and encourage diversity on an organizational level.
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