Identifying a Diverse Workforce

Diversity in workplace is not just related to color and race. Even people of the same race and color can be diverse in the way they process what they listen, see, think, and accept information about. It is a subconscious and automatic process.

Nowadays, many trainers start their training programs with an initial study of the kind of learners they have in their training room. If they have a predominantly visual learner base, they try to use more graphics and diagrams. For auditory, they will rely on audio files and listening techniques, and for kinesthetic-oriented learners, they organize one-on-one discussions, forums, and jam sessions.

We can identify three major categories of processing styles − Visual Learners, Auditory Learners, and Kinesthetic Learners.

Visual Learners                                                                   

These prefer to receive information visually. They like to get information in written form. A visual person would like to read an email or see a fax of something before taking any decision, no matter how articulately you explain things to him. They will tend to use sentences that will have a lot of visual words like “I don’t see a lot of profit here”, “Look, I wanted things to be this way”, “Did you see what he said?” etc. They enjoy reading, watching TV, writing stuff and playing intellectual games.

Auditory Learners

Auditory Learners like to ask for information in speech. Instead of reading a book, they would like to listen to audio book where the lines will be narrated to them. If you send them even a brief mail, they would most likely respond somewhat like “Yeah, I got the mail, however couldn’t get the time to go through it. Could we talk about it now?”

Auditory Learners use auditory sentences like “I don’t like the sound of that.”, “The plan sounds great.” They like listening and humming, sometimes unconsciously, and love listening to music. They enjoy word games and having conversations.

Kinesthetic Learners

Kinesthetic Learners would want to meet you in person before taking any decision. They would use words that are predominantly related to touch, feel and presence. Their sentences would sound like “This is a touchy issue.”, “This doesn’t feel right”

They like to hold things while talking. Even if they are complimenting the color of your dress, they might reach out and touch your dress. They enjoy sports and dancing.

People do cross over from one style to another but researchers say that, we stay in our own comfort zone 70% of the times. So identifying and adapting to someone’s primary style can help you break the ice quicker with them and build a rapport.

Overall, understanding diversity is about feeling comfortable in an interrelated society and providing optimal output in an interdependent workplace that is a representation of the different demographics of the world.

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