Do you practice tolerance?

Tolerance, according to the Cambridge Dictionary, is the willingness to accept behavior and beliefs that are different from your own, although you might not agree with or approve of them.

Today is the International Day for Tolerance, introduced by the United Nations to foster mutual understanding among cultures and peoples.

A key to this goal is to embrace diversity, which is discussed in Velsoft’s Diversity Training softskills course:

Diversity experts Armida Russell, Amy Tolbert, and Frank Wilderman have identified four cornerstones of diversity development. They are knowledge, acceptance, understanding, and behavior.

Knowledge

The best way to battle stereotypes is to inform yourself about the truth. Some activities you can do on a personal level include:

  • Visit ethnic museums or memorials
  • Take ethnic cooking classes or language classes
  • Travel
  • Attend different places of worship
  • Watch movies or read books about stereotypes (To Kill a Mockingbird, Amistad, Schindler’s List, and Ghosts of Mississippi are some excellent resources)
  • Involve yourself with people that your stereotype could apply to. Find out what they’re really like.
  • If you have children, involve them in your studies.

Understanding

Once you have some knowledge about diverse groups, put that knowledge into action. If you understand why a person is acting in a particular way, it may be easier to empathize.

Here are some ways you can put yourself in other people’s shoes:

  • Try placing a phone call using a TDD device.
  • Rent a wheelchair and go to a shopping mall. Make sure to visit the restroom.
  • Volunteer for an organization that provides services for new immigrants or people with disabilities.

Acceptance

  • Acceptance does not mean adopting the behaviors or rituals of a culture as your own. It also does not mean condoning behaviors that clash with your value system.
  • Acceptance does mean respecting the values and behaviors of other cultures. Let’s say that we need to schedule team meetings and I feel that the best time to do this is before the day starts, at 8 a.m. every morning. However, Pam has a conflict: she attends worship every morning before work. Perhaps I don’t go to church every morning, but I can respect the fact that Pam has this commitment. Rather than ask Pam to alter her religious commitment, I can respect it and schedule the meeting for another time.
  • Developing acceptance can open up a whole new range of possibilities for everyone involved. To start, if you listen with an open mind, you’ll probably learn something about your co-worker or even about another culture. And, when different viewpoints are exchanged in a respectful manner, amazing ideas are bound to result. This respectful, healthy exchange builds respect and communication skills, resulting in a stronger team.

Behavior

  • Now that all the pieces are in place, you can begin to look more closely at your behavior.

What’s in the Pipeline

  • Ben is working on custom projects.
  • Carol is writing blogs and refreshing courses.
  • Jan is working on CA course components and eLearning QA.
  • Dylan is creating graphics for custom and internal customers.
  • Sydney is creating custom eLearning courses.

Course Count

Courses released this month:

From Boss to Leader

Microsoft PowerPoint Online 

Here is the official count of courses for both courseware and eLearning:

Computer SoftSkills Total Courses
Courseware 286 175 459
eLearning 937 175 1112

Quotes

“Tolerance isn’t about not having beliefs. It’s about how your beliefs lead you to treat people who disagree with you.” ― Timothy Keller

“Men build too many walls and not enough bridges.” ― Joseph Fort Newton

“Love thy enemies, it says in the scriptures. My foster mother always added, “At the very least, you will be polite to them.” ― Patricia Briggs, Moon Called

“Resolve to be tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant of the weak and the wrong. Sometime in life you will have been all of these.” ― George Washington Carver

“Religion is like a pair of shoes… Find one that fits for you, but don’t make me wear your shoes.” ― George Carlin

“If man is to survive, he will have learned to take a delight in the essential differences between men and between cultures. He will learn that differences in ideas and attitudes are a delight, part of life’s exciting variety, not something to fear.” ― Gene Roddenberry

 

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