The Role of Diversity and Etiquette in the Workplace - [website] Email Print
Published: 25th of Mar 2022 by: Staff Writer

Etiquette and Diversity are two very important topics that should definitely be included in any organisation's training and development strategy.

"The biggest mistake is believing there is one right way to listen, to talk, to have a conversation - or a relationship." ~ Deborah Tannen

Let's explore the importance of Diversity and Etiquette in the workplace... The relationship between the two can be something which requires explaining; on the surface they appear to be two very separate concepts. In reality, the two are inextricably interlinked. For the purpose of this blog, we're looking at each of these concepts in the context of the workplace, with the emphasis placed on relationships between colleagues and facilitating the type of harmonious environment which all companies covet.

Why? Because harmony amongst the members of an organisation promotes productivity - pure and simple. Disharmony promotes low morale, lack of buy-in, every person for themselves and miscommunication - all serious killers of productivity.

So, let's unpack diversity first. When applying this to the workplace it most commonly comes up with regard to the different types of people comprising an organisation. It often gets applied to issues such as race, religion, age, gender, skill-sets and personality types. These are generally the concepts we work with on our workshops because they are the issues most cited when we speak about conflict in the workplace. And with good reason.

A lack of understanding and appreciation for these differences is not only common amongst groups of people, it's particularly deadly within an organisation. It flourishes in the dark - so the more people shy away from addressing issues, the worse they get. Addressing these issues however, needs to done in a professional and structured environment, not as quick lecture by a manager.

Enter the concept of etiquette and it's relation to diversity. Once we've identified and surfaced the areas where people aren't coping with diversity, we need to work with each of them - truly explore the fundamental issues and seek to establish effective lines of communication. Our ultimate goal is to get people to bring a much higher level of honesty and openness with them into their interactions with each other in order to promote a high level of trust.

Once we have started with this process we then need to establish ground rules regarding respectful behaviour towards each other - in other words, we need to understand and implement etiquette.

You see, the concept of etiquette is far more profound than knowing which knife and fork to use - it's a set of behaviours which promotes standardised and fair treatment of those around us. It's essential that each and every person in the organisation understands the reason for this set of rules and subscribes to it. It's what keeps bad behaviour in check by providing a bench mark for what's acceptable and what isn't.

So, can you see how diversity and etiquette go hand in hand and the importance for both when seeking to promote a harmonious and productive work environment?

We have standardised courses which cover these vast subjects in detail, and can customise courses for a client's specific needs...

Get in touch with us today to discuss your training requirements, email us at or give us a call at 0861 996 660

Staff Training is a South African soft skills training provider with more than 60 workshops on offer.

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