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Defusing the Scariness of Diversity (4 of 4) | Trading Mind Tricks for the Treats of Diversity

Third, depending upon how we’ve been conditioned to make assumptions about other people, it may take us a while to recognize our intellectual arrogance, which is simply believing that what we THINK we know about other people is right. Instead, we need to be willing to exchange intellectual arrogance for cultural humility, which is simply recognizing what we think we know about people, may not be the TRUTH about other people.

Cultural humility has been defined as “an ongoing process of self-exploration and self-critique combined with a willingness to learn from others. It means entering a relationship with another person with the intention of honoring their beliefs, customs and values. It means acknowledging differences and accepting that person for who they are.”

I’m sure we have all had the experience of someone else having preconceived notions about us and how that feels when we have the sense of “how can they think that about me? They don’t even know me!” So, it's helpful for us to think for ourselves about the preconceived notions we may hold about another person, not based on our own experience with any of them, but on our ideas about them.

Learning to be comfortable with the discomfort of our own self-exploration and self-awareness is the first step towards building a diverse and inclusive environment where all can feel welcomed, accepted and a sense of belonging.

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