On the morning of Thursday, March 4th, Ellen Makaravage and I attended the Gatekeeper’s Workshop: Enhancing our Community through Inclusion. This three-hour workshop was led by Donna Stringer and Andy Reynolds of Executive Diversity Services. No computers were allowed, but the workshop flew by so quickly I barely noticed I was “offline”. (My handwritten notes are not legible, so I’ll keep this short!)

We discussed diversity, inclusion and engagement. An interesting point they made was that Equality is not equity and engaging environments are about equitable treatment! We also discussed how conflict often gets attributed to what you can see (color, gender, disability, general appearance) rather than the actual cause of the conflict.

Everyone knows the Golden Rule “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”, well we replaced this with a Platinum Rule, “Do unto others as they would have you do unto them.” Seems like a minor change, but it makes a huge difference.

We learned a variety of techniques for improving cross-cultural interactions ranging from slowing down knee-jerk reactions to checking assumptions and assuming positive intentions. Other techniques included stating your intent and allowing others to share the impact of your behavior.

This was an excellent workshop, well worth the time and I would encourage everyone to attend if it is offered again in the future!