Competence Building

We offer advanced solutions rooted in a human-centered design mindset. According to this approach, individual employees – with their diversity and unique combinations of talents, motivations, and competences – constitute the backbone of an organization and are its ultimate clients.

Communication, decision-making, and mutual support—but also conflict and its resolution—all occur at the interpersonal level every day in organizations. Improving competences in these processes is both a prerequisite and an opportunity for businesses to increase their diversity and foster cultures of respect and inclusivity.

It is essential, however, to improve these abilities at all levels of a company’s structure. People work in teams. Teams have leaders and are embedded in higher level units. Highly effective teams can only thrive if the values of individuals, leaders, and organizational cultures are aligned.

Organizational cultures significantly affect how people function on a daily basis. Making sure that the culture and values of an organization support a truly open, equality-oriented, and inclusive work environment is therefore another pillar of successful businesses.

We can help you advance at the individual, group, and organizational levels. Each of the solutions we offer can be adjusted to your company’s needs, level of diversity and inclusion, and strategic goals.

Sprawdź szczegóły oferty:

GENDER

Sex and gender continue to be among the primary frames shaping individual and social identities, interpersonal relations, and social inequalities.

Confronting often-contradictory expectations and beliefs about physical and personality traits, suitable roles, and workplace dynamics is challenging to both men and women. Moreover, despite a host of educational, legal, and corporate policies aimed at leveling the playing field, gendered beliefs and inequalities persist. What are the most common myths? Why do they persist? Why do equality policies often fail? What can each of us do about it?

  • Sex and gender stereotypes and roles.
  • Emergence of gender status and performance expectations.
  • Class, strata, and gender – how women’s chances to succeed vary across occupations.
  • Motherhood penalties and fatherhood premia – how and why parenthood affects the careers of parents.
  • Gender, physical attractiveness, and performance expectations.
  • Double standards for inferring competence and incompetence and how they affect recruitment, performance evaluations, and promotions.
  • Emotive, instrumental, strong, and weak network ties – why gender networks are often ineffective in helping women advance and what could make them more effective.
  • Denial of personal disadvantage, its role in undermining the effectiveness of D&I policies, and how to overcome it.
  • Gender inclusive language and its role in the workplace and everyday life.
  • The myth of meritocracy, pluralistic ignorance, and moral references, and their role in D&I effectiveness.

Selected benefits:

LGBT+

Members of the LGBT+ community are part of our organizations and environments whether we realize it or not. They are members of our teams, manage departments, and participate in our company’s life.

The typical person, however, knows very little about gender identities and sexual orientations. We still hold myths and stereotypes regarding sexuality and gender identity that fuel unequal treatment and exclusion of LGBT+-identifying persons. At the same time, rulings of Polish courts and The Court of Justice of the European Union increasingly prohibit discrimination in the workplace, including via comments on social media.

  • Myths regarding sexual orientations and gender identities.
  • Building LGBT+-inclusive organizational cultures.
  • Legal issues pertaining to transgender persons’ employment.
  • Micromessaging regarding sexual orientations and gender identities and its role in shaping the culture of belonging.
  • Measuring and monitoring diversity and inclusion of LGBT+ persons in organizational settings.
  • Setting up employee pride network.

Selected benefits:

D&I and Inclusive Communication

The ability to communicate effectively is a necessary skill for employees of any organization, regardless of its sector, size or structure. Team cooperation and good management will not occur without effective communication. Communication is also necessary for building safe employee relations and a culture of belonging in diverse teams.

How do you build constructive communication habits? How do you identify barriers to strong communication in heterogenous teams? What tools can you use to ensure inclusivity? What are the guidelines for inclusive vocabularies? Is there a clearly-defined line of demarcation between rudeness and discriminatory language?

  • Rules for inclusive communication
    • The impact of diversity on team communication.
    • Ways of taking advantage of diversity to establish good communication.
    • Strategies for overcoming challenges to good communication.
    • Communication in diverse teams working remotely.
    • Inclusive language elements and dictionaries.
  • Micromessages and microinequalities
    • Types and forms of micromessages.
    • Micromessages in the linguistic, behavioral, and organizational domains.
    • Sources and consequences of micromessages for individuals, teams, and organizations.
    • Micromessages and discrimination, harassment, and sexual harassment.

Selected benefits:

Cross-cultural competence

Each culture has its own styles and norms guiding behaviors and communications. These norms are internalized and often not consciously acknowledged by members. When people from different cultural backgrounds come to work together, differences in those styles and norms may result in misunderstandings and even full-blown conflicts.

People with different cultural backgrounds might also hold different work values and work ethics. Such differences may generate disagreements and conflicts, but also behaviors contrary to the legal regulations in a given country.

How does one negotiate this jungle of diversities, styles, and norms, especially when one also has other responsibilities as a team or department leader?

Building cross-cultural competence is the key to avoiding errors when communicating with coworkers from varying cultural backgrounds.

  • Cross-cultural competence and solving cross-cultural conflicts
    • Ethnocentrism, stereotypes, prejudices and discrimination in cross-cultural contexts.
    • Emotions, empathy, compassion, and sensitivity at work, and relations with persons from different cultures.
    • Universality of Human Rights in a cross-cultural context.
    • Crisis negotiations in a cross-cultural context.
  • Cross-cultural competence in global work teams
    • Ethnocentrism, stereotypes and prejudices in international work teams.
    • The relationships between cultures and communication styles.
    • Direct vs. indirect communication in global teams.
    • Building positive image and interpersonal trust with the use of appropriate cultural behaviors.
    • Trust and social identity in international virtual work teams.
  • Management and leadership in cross-cultural teams
    • Universal and culturally-specific ways of delegating tasks and responsibilities.
    • Universal and culturally-specific ways of implementing workplace policies, rewarding and disciplining, and providing positive and negative feedback.
    • Building trust and motivation in culturally-diverse teams.
    • Cultural diversity of work ethics and work-related values.
    • Diagnosing cultural codes as a leader of a culturally-diverse team.
  • Specific cultures
    • Cross-cultural competence for successful cooperation with persons from a specific cultural background: Practical knowledge, useful skills, necessary attitudes.
    • Effective communication with persons from a specific cultural background.
    • Cultural norms and values of a given country or culture, including gaffes, humor and taboos.
    • Understanding and facilitating constructive disagreements, arguments, and conflicts in different cultures.

Selected benefits:

Preventing and correcting negative behaviors

Diversity poses a challenge. We prefer interacting with ‘people like us,’ but we are usually forced to interact with different kinds of people. Disagreements, misunderstandings, and conflicts, fueled by the mere fact that we are not alike, are therefore common. Each one of us has on multiple occasions experienced or witnessed conflict stemming from our diversity.

Mechanisms for identifying and managing challenges stemming from diversity are essential building blocks of inclusive cultures. They are also instrumental for fostering positive relationships between coworkers.

Poorly-managed conflicts are destructive. They contribute to the erosion of belief in common organizational values, reduce sense of belonging, and, in some cases, lead to mobbing. Even if the organization makes an effort to foster an open and welcoming atmosphere, individuals may behave inappropriately and break organizational or legal norms: some jokes are offensive, and some behaviors are aggressive.

Mobbing (workplace bullying), harassment, sexual harassment, and discrimination have profound negative effects on the professional and personal well-being of persons subjected to these behaviors, as well as on the team members witnessing (or sometimes being complicit in) such behaviors. Polish labor code imposes on employers an obligation to prevent such behaviors, and to review and update their internal regulations and procedures regarding notification and investigation of cases where they occur.

  • Diversity-related conflict management:
    • Constructive and destructive conflict.
    • Guidebook of constructive conflict management.
    • Sources of conflicts and how to address them.
    • Methods of conflict de-escalation.
    • When to negotiate, when to mediate, and when to use arbitration.
  • Preventing discrimination:
    • Practical tools for identifying and reacting to cases of discrimination.
    • Antidiscrimination law, its interpretations, and recent rulings – implications for your organization’s functioning.
    • Responsibilities of management, HR, and Compliance teams.
    • Best business practices for implementing legal guidelines.
  • Preventing sexual harassment:
    • Safe compliments, jokes, and words of encouragement.
    • Gendered dress codes, gender expression, and harassment.
    • Legal issues pertaining to love, flirting, and sexual affairs at the workplace.
    • Legal and cultural boundaries for sexually-charged behaviors.
    • Ways to react to sexual harassment if you are a witness, a leader, or an employer.
  • Preventing and dealing with mobbing:
    • Mobbing from the lawyers’ and mediators’ perspectives.
    • The basics of anti-mobbing law and recent court rulings, and their implications for organizational practice.
    • Demarcation lines – what behaviors constitute mobbing?
    • Pressure from the top, pushback from the bottom – preparing managers for challenges and difficult situations.
    • Supporting a team after a mobbing experience – what, why and when.

Selected benefits:

Questions? Need consultation?