Follow up: Inclusive Communication Brown Bag Lunch, 4/6

Cara Bonnett hosted a discussion on inclusive communication on Tuesday, April 6 at noon.

While there have been challenges around communicating inclusively while we’re working remotely, it has been easier to join conversations online. It has also been challenging to carry conversations back from DiversifyIT to individual work teams because it can seem forced. These conversations would be more organic if we were physically together.

To increase communication, one team, for example, had each member share their own personal story, like being first generation, and it was enlightening because it helped raise awareness of differences within the team.

Communication involves encouraging people who haven’t spoken up in these sessions to add their voice. All are welcome and included, no matter their communication-style. Some key takeaways:

  • Participating in the chat can help those who want to add their thoughts
  • Breakout rooms help because the group is smaller, but they can also be intimidating; it’s easier to be in the background when you’re in a large group
  • Raising hands and other social norms might help; jumping in when you have something to say can feel like interrupting
  • Leadership can encourage participation by sharing their own experiences
  • We need to remember that everyone’s perspective is valuable

Let’s normalize these conversations, and make them less and less uncomfortable. What would help you participate in a discussion? What prevents you from speaking? How can you make sure your voice gets heard? Send an email to diversifyIT@duke.edu and let us know.