One of the most effective ways to become more inclusive is to broaden your contact with people from various backgrounds. To improve understanding across differences and accelerate intercultural learning, it’s a good idea to increase your exposure to diverse individuals, experiences, and worldviews. 

Here are seven easy ways to do just that: 

  1. Exchange perspectives with people who are from diverse groups and share your own diverse experiences and viewpoints with them.

  2. Seek opportunities to engage with colleagues from different backgrounds. When working remotely, this can be done during networking opportunities or through professional associations. When interacting face-to-face, you can do so during lunch or coffee breaks, by socializing at office parties, or through trust-building exercises.

  3. Attend professional events to gain more exposure and learn about different cultures.

  4. Seek out colleagues whom have a strong inclination to include diverse people in their network. Talk with them about their attitudes around increasing diversity and becoming more inclusive.

  5. Use cultural and other differences as a conversation topic with colleagues. This will not only build perspective and empathy for the views of others, but it will build trust.

  6. Read and listen to information and opinions that are outside your typical sphere of interest.
  7. Pause to question feelings of discomfort or defensiveness before reacting to new circumstances or diverse individuals. It’s important to think about why you might feel discomfort and what you can do to overcome it.

It’s been shown that diversity doesn’t stick without inclusion. Following these seven tips can help you become more inclusive of diverse groups and individuals in your professional and personal life.