Communication Guidelines for Inclusivity
The Oaks School’s faculty and staff continually engage in work with Visions, Inc. in the effort of becoming a more inclusive, welcoming, and diverse community. In order to effectively communicate across difference, we practice group work, activities, and self-directed study in the interest of creating an environment that actively utilizes and engages with Visions, Inc.’s approach to communication and inclusion. Visions, Inc. assists our efforts by providing certain guidelines which help refine and monitor our approaches as a school community.
Multicultural Guidelines for Communicating Across Difference
- Try On
Try on each other’s ideas, feelings, and ways of doing things for the purpose of greater understanding. Keep what you like and let go of the rest at the end of each interaction, discussion, session or meeting.
- Okay to Disagree and NOT okay to blame or attack ourselves or others
because of our differences. One of the necessary ingredients for differences to be expressed and valued is that people need to let go of the need to be, think or act the same.
- Practice “Self-Focus” and use “I” Statements
Begin by talking about your own experience. It is helpful to make “I” statements when speaking about your experience, rather than saying “you”, “we” or “one”. When you intend to refer to others, be specific about them-by name or group. This invites and creates space for multiple perspectives to be shared—especially when they are different from yours.
- Learning from uncomfortable moments is an important part of this process so, pay attention to your feelings.
- Be Aware of Intent and Impact
Be aware that your good intentions may have a negative impact-especially across racial, gender or other cultural differences. Be open to hearing the impact of your statement.
- If you want to “stretch” yourself-seek the feedback from the individual before they bring it to your attention.
- Notice who’s active and who’s not, who’s interested and who’s not, and ask about it.
with regard to personal sharing is important. You can carry the work of the group, your own learning, stories and perspectives, and the public work from the group. Allow others to tell their own stories.
- Ask first to see if an individual wants to follow-up on the initial conversation.
- Do not use any information shared negatively towards a progress report or against a supervisor.