Cultural Diversity

Cultural Diversity

The Exercise of Cultural Diversity

Cultural Diversity is an exercise in learning about diversity and inclusion, and developing trust and empathy skills. This is not only a wonderfully entertaining exercise, but it can also form the catalyst of a very powerful learning experience for your group.

First, form three teams of about the same number of people. Ask them to assemble some distance apart, because you need to equip them with further information that no other team should know.

In secret, tell each team to interact in one of three very specific ways.

  • Never look into the eyes of those you are speaking with
  • Always whisper when engaged in conversation
  • Keep at least 2 metres away from those you are speaking with

When ready, announce that you would like everyone to mix and interact with one another for the sole purpose of engaging in as many conversations with others as possible. And, importantly, it is critical that every person honours the information that was shared with just their group.

Allow these interactions to occur over the course of 1 or 2 minutes and then regather your group. The point of this exercise is that for many people, these awkward interactions are very real and not fiction.

Take the time to invite your group to reflect on their observations and experiences.

Moment of Reflection
  • One group at a time, what did you observe in the people with whom you intended to interact?
  • Did the behaviors and signs of the other groups seem strange to you?
  • Was it difficult to interact with people from other groups? Because?
  • Outside of this experience (which was clearly an exercise), can you describe an example of when you interacted with people other than yourself?
  • What is the impact when people from different cultures try to relate?
  • How can we embrace diversity and include everyone (instead of excluding them?)
See also  Emotional Check In

The topics of this publication: integrationselfdiversityempathyreflectioncritical thinkingadaptability skillstrustinteractionsstereotypes, adaptation

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