assorted colored chalks on wood surface

Coaching and Diversity

There are positive elements of human endeavour that remain controversial for some people. It shouldn’t be that way, but topics like love, culture and the constructive practices of some are contentious to others. Trying to decode this often leads to a similar place; the suspicion of differences.

Terms like “tribal”, “fight or flight” or “survival instinct” are used to explain bad behaviour between different groups. Based on current brain science however, explanations like that are, at best, simplistic. All of us have the ability to accept differences, we do it in our family situations all of the time. Outside of our families however, there are many who will not accept the differences they see in individuals. This can lead to community mono-cultures, stratification, and a resistance to diversity. That can have a real, negative impact on people at their workplace and in social situations.

Diversity at work and in the community is both positive and important. It helps to expand thinking, creativity, development, effectiveness and improve outcomes in a number of ways. The science is proving this out in study after study. Embracing diversity is a growth exercise. It is a recognition of our shared humanity. Communal and work behaviours often act as obstacles to growth however and that’s where coaching can help.

A coach may be called on to listen with compassion about the hurt of inequity, or to interact with a person who approaches interpersonal relationships from a privileged or unsympathetic perspective. If you want to talk to your coach about issues of diversity and difference, no matter what the frame, please celebrate your decision. Stay brave. Your coach is there to listen. The knowledge you possess and the thoughts you share are part of a process. Coaching alone may not be enough and that’s when working with a professional therapist may be of help to you.

Your coach is not there to judge your behaviour. They are there to help you explore your personal landscape. Coaching should be a comfortable place to discuss differences and for developing acceptance. Your coaching conversations are safe places to learn, grow and become better.