A few weeks back we decided to up our quiz game. Not content with simply ploughing through the Stuff quizzes, we decided that on Fridays we would each take turns creating a quiz for the others.
It's been a great fun. We've found ourselves stumped, bamboozled, and at times, falsely confident in our answers.
Hilary, Dinah, and I have all had our go at leading the quiz. After last Friday's quiz, Dinah remarked on the amount of diversity we have across the three of us. The types of questions we asked were completely different, but none of us found these questions from obscure places- besides, of course, our own minds. Each of us asked questions that were obvious or common knowledge to us. But, boy did they stump the others.
Many of Hilary's questions centred around the World Wars - one of her favourite topics.
Dinah's had a distinct fashion and literature blend. (Needless to say, we did the worst on her quiz!)
My questions focused on the USA, Cleveland and sports. The differences in our ages, hometowns, interests and hobbies, and experiences all hugely shaped the questions we chose.
A powerful reminder that diversity expands beyond so much more than gender and race - two areas the three of us have in common. Age, nationality, experiences, social norms, socioeconomic status, cognitive preferences, personality types, strengths, skills and capabilities, and more, are all elements that add to our beautifully diverse selves.
Have a go and see how you go on some of our quiz questions: (answers at the bottom)
When was D-Day?
Where was the Bridge Too Far? (as in the WWII film)
What is the top dot of an i or a j called?
The D&I approach of the past
Sadly, past (and some current) examples of workplace diversity and inclusion programmes boiled down to chasing gender and cultural representation statistics. But, we all know this is an outdated approach because it fundamentally fails to do two crucial things.
First, it does not recognise all of the other elements that make us diverse. I once heard this concept referred to as the Diversity ICE: Identity, Cognitive, and Experiences
Identity: Any group in which you belong. Nationality, race, generation, socioeconomic group, gender, religion, political affilitation, fandoms
Cognitive: How you mentally process things. Your natural tendencies, personality types, intellectual capabitilities
Experiences: The events you've dealt with in your life and how they've shaped you. Key events, ideas of success, socioeconomic factors, family dynamics
Skills: The talents, strengths, and value you bring to the table. Specialised knowledge, roles, and skills.
Secondly, it focuses on representation. And yes, this is absolutely important. In fact, it's a fundamental first step. But it forgets about inclusion and belonging. So what if you're there, if you feel excluded and uncomfortable to be yourself and speak up?
Diversity is being invited to the table. Inclusion is being comfortable to speak out when you’re there. Belonging is being listened to.
Google's Project Aristotle identified psychological safety in the workplace as the most important factor in highly effective teams. The researchers found that what really mattered was less about who is on the team, and more about how the team worked together. When psychological safety is present in a team, people feel safe to take risks and be vulnerable in front of each other.
I believe it's all of our jobs (not just the leader's job) to make those we work with feel heard, supported, and valued. Creating an inclusive workplace, where everyone feels safe to be themselves and to take risks, is something we can all contribute to.
What can you do recognise and value the layers of diversity in your team?
How do you create a safe space for this diversity to shine through?
Hilary: June 6 1944, Arnhem
Dinah: tittle, D: Bar
Kristen: the letter T , B: 1964