Eradicating racism from this planet is the ultimate goal. But for now, here’s how you can do your part in solving this issue of social inequality.
- Acknowledge publicly and privately that there’s a problem.
Publicly acknowledge that racism exists, and it probably exists in your company. This is the first step because it opens up the door to more conversations.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that you want to harm black people, but maybe it’s in the way you behave. It’s maybe the fact that when a black person walks in the room and you feel a certain way because of your past experiences, or connection to a movie or whatever stuff that is in your brain.
Acknowledge that there’s a lack of intel as to really how we feel about each other – whether it’s race, gender, sexual orientation, whatever the case may be.
- Start building some of those conversations.
It’s all about diversifying your experiences. Many people will spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to travel around the world to get culture, but they won’t drive 30 minutes down the road to get the culture in their own backyard because it’s not cool and it’s not somewhere they want to go to.
Many of us go on mission trips to other countries to help out the needy and the poor. But why don’t we do that in our own community, instead? There’s got to be an opportunity to include people in a diverse set of experiences that can only ignite the organization to grow. Giving back to the community is not just about writing a check, but being involved and finding out what people with different backgrounds are like.
- Focus on the dialogue.
When you have those opportunities to engage with people who have different backgrounds, really focus on the dialogue. Don’t cut people off. Having a discussion is like having an argument about something and you’re trying to sway each other’s opinions. Dialogue, on the other hand, allows everyone to say whatever they like without being interrupted. Your job is to listen to each other. When you’re able to create this kind of feeling and environment where you accept them and acknowledge them, you’re growing as a group.
A company is nothing more than a set of relationships all packed into your firm. So whatever that looks like, let’s start having some conversations today!
For more information and resources on social responsibility, check out The Customer Service Revolution podcast. If you’d like to listen, head over to 011: Fostering Social Responsibility with DJ Santiago.