As diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) gain in prominence and importance within workplaces, educational institutions, and our society, the Kozai Group seeks to develop key resources to help people assess themselves within the framework of DEI by helping them understand, grow, and embody DEI initiatives, thoughts, and actions. One of these key resources is Kozai’s Inclusion Competency Inventory (ICI), which is a tool that evaluates the critical competencies people need to be inclusive. The Kozai Group invites you to watch our informational webinar, A Guide on Teaching & Training for Inclusion, which discusses teaching and training for inclusion as an overall concept, specifically using the ICI. Panelists in this webinar discuss not only the practical applications of the ICI but provide hands-on, tried, and tested teaching and training practices to cultivate inclusion competencies from their positions of leadership in the field. 

The Three Key Panelists

The webinar was hosted and facilitated by Dr. Chris Cartwright of Portland State University and The Kozai Group and the three prominent experts joining the Kozai Group were:

  1. Dr. Joanne Barnes – The Kozai Group and Indiana Wesleyan University
  2. Reverend Dr. Brian Tillman – North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church
  3. Dr. Janice Hall – Associate Dean of DEI, Pamplin College of Business at Virginia Tech 

While diversity and equity are important, this webinar focuses on inclusion. As Reverend Dr. Tilman states, “Diversity is about counting people. Inclusion is about making people count.” While inclusion focuses on all people having a sense of belonging, feeling supported. A truly inclusive environment has an established commitment to these practices. True inclusivity is about building institutional structures that help fit the puzzle of all its people together. In inclusive institutions, all people are given the ability to have their voices heard and each individual is an important piece of the greater whole. 

A Closer Look At the ICI

As part of the ICI, individuals are given results that help them know themselves, know others, and are given tools to bridge those differences. Dr. Barnes’s individual work beyond the ICI focuses on the four ways (or thought processes) that people and institutions perceive and interact with the world, they are through:

  • Cognition
  • Behavior
  • Organizational 
  • Societal 

The ICI is a powerful tool that allows people to know themselves, know others, and bridge that gap but the ICI is only a first step. The ICI opens the door for people and institutions to reflect on the test’s results, but it is in applying this knowledge and developing a personal growth plan that really begins to put the knowledge into practice. Once the ICI returns an individual’s results of competencies and sub-competencies, the teaching and training aspect of the ICI for individual growth focuses on finding ways to reflect and leverage the results to grow in self-knowledge, understanding of others, and ways to bridge these differences. 

Dr. Barnes recommends working with an accountability partner, submitting progress reports, journaling, and even submitting a final report on lessons learned through the experience of leveraging the ICI’s results. These steps are based on cognitive behavior therapy and provide a path individuals can take toward personal inclusionary growth. It’s also extremely helpful once individuals know the results of their inclusion competency inventories to set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound) goals to grow in their inclusionary tactics. Individuals can ask themselves “Which dimension is of greatest importance in terms of my career plans or work responsibilities?” and then set appropriate goals and plans to answer this question.  

Wrapping Up

A highlight of the webinar is the Q&A session with the panelists as they discuss a wide range of topics and explain why they have chosen their life and career paths focusing on inclusivity and how they implement inclusivity in their lives and work. They also discuss case studies related to who they are working with on inclusion and how the ICI has helped them serve their purposes. Interestingly, panelists discussed their own implicit biases uncovered by the ICI and how knowing this information has allowed them to grow and serve others with more openness and work on growing beyond these.         

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) is an important tenet of workplace and educational settings. It can be easy to think that an organization’s DEI initiatives or processes tick all the boxes of creating and fostering an inclusive environment for all its participants but it’s important to ensure best teaching and training practices to cultivate inclusion competencies for individuals, organizations, and within communities. Kozai Group’s webinar provides a way for all persons involved in DEI initiatives or functions to really determine if what they are doing is helping foster true inclusion. The models, graphics, and in-depth discussion from the webinar show viewers how to grow their inclusivity and provide important, relevant tools that anyone can use to help themselves learn and grow in their understanding of inclusivity in themselves, others, and their organizations. Watch this important webinar here.

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