Quit Trying to Find Motivation and Just Do the Right Thing

As a diversity and inclusion trainer I am often told that I am a motivating instructor. While I welcome such affirmations, I understand that motivation will not ensure diversity and inclusion.

I first noticed this phenomenon a couple of years ago when I analyzed the survey results to my training from the lens of the knowing and doing gap when it comes diversity and inclusion. For left brain knowing questions like was the training useful, was the trainer effective and did the trainer communicate the message, participants strongly agreed. For right brain doing questions like was the training different, did you learn any new skills and will you do things differently, participants were not so quickly to strongly agree.

Employees agreed that diversity and inclusion was the right thing to do, they just were not willing to take the risk of doing diversity and inclusion. Why should they sacrifice for diversity and inclusion when the culture and climate of the workplace provide little incentives or rewards for the creation of a diverse and inclusive organization?

They reinforced the statement by Peter Drucker, Father of Modern Management who once said “Culture and climate eat strategy for breakfast, lunch and dinner.”

My challenge as a trainer is to move employees to make long term change despite the culture and climate. To convince them to want to do diversity and inclusion instead of being told to be diverse and inclusive. To embrace the recognition of differences not to earn a reward or avoid a punishment but to accept differences because it is the right thing to do for themselves, the taxpayers and the agency.

We need to give our employees the green light to be diverse and inclusive by allowing them the autonomy, mastery and purpose to be social architects for change by getting out of their way. We want them to get to a point where they do not even have to think about being diverse and inclusive since they have practiced it so much it has become an instinctual and intuitive thing to do.

Drucker also recommended we view the construction of a diverse and inclusive workplace as a labor of love. He suggests that we should bring the same level of enthusiasm and energy to a differences embracing workplace that we would bring to our favorite charity, religious institution or non-profit. He describes such effort that answers the question, “Not what I do for diversity and inclusion but why do I do it.”

We do not need any more motivation to be diverse and inclusive. Actions speak louder than words. Faith without works is dead. Let’s resurrect diversity and inclusion, a rapidly changing and different world would appreciate it.

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