1. Course Overview and Objectives

It doesn’t take much to see that we have major challenges communicating across differences.

Just take a look at the news - from around the world. Story after story about the breakdown of communication across all manner of differences - race, gender, religion, politics, generation, and on and on. And while they may not make the news, it’s common in organizations to see breakdowns in communication across less visible differences such as personality, education level, personal background, and all kinds of other factors.

In some situations differences confront us right up front - conflicting political views, divergent generational perspectives, different world views, etc. On the other hand some differences are not as visible upfront, but may still be a source of misunderstanding and miscommunication.

Here’s the problem: At some point, we will have differences with everyone! If we don’t learn how to courageously initiate effective communication across differences, then we’re left with the only option of increasing division and decreasing capacity to work together effectively to achieve results.

Communicating across differences is NOT about:

  • Always coming to agreement
  • Denying our differences
  • Charging in to change someone else’s mind

Communicating across differences, and doing it well, IS about:

  • Staying connected even while differences exist
  • Maintaining a respectful, productive relationship with others.

There are 3 specific objectives for this course:

  • First, to help you identify where differences may be creating barriers for you.
  • Second, to help you develop skills to overcome those barriers.
  • Third, to commit to small steps of change.

Watch the video below and then click "Complete and Continue" above to move on to the next lecture.

Complete and Continue