ONL181 (Open Networked Learning; an online and international Community of Inquiry about “networked/collaborative/social learning” is starting soon. This project takes 1 day a week, during three months of participants. I am looking forward to the online group and the process I will be facilitating, my co-facilitators and the dynamics of the total community which consist of more then 120 people.
At ONL171 I was focussing as a co-facilitator on online group-dynamics, which had the outcome of a webinar about Silent learners for EDEN.
This iteration I want to focus on “Diversity and Inclusion” again, by helping the online group making better decisions.
Accidentally I am also working with Siebette Wester of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Marian Spier and Esther Mollema on this topic. From them I got the following information. It is simple and practical to use in (online) diverse groups.
Making better decisions in divers groups
Summary of topics to “do”, while working as a facilitator in a group:
The rules for Inclusion
Inclusion in a group increases when:
- Group members feel they can be authentic. So judgement on different points of view are not made.
- They feel appreciated an respected as a person, not only by their commitment or contribution
- They feel that they are heard
- They feel that they have influence on decision making of the group
- The feel comfortable while receiving or giving feedback
- The feel at home in their team and organization
- They know the importance of diversity and inclusion profoundly for themselves and the organization
How to achieve improvement of the feeling of inclusion of group members?
The following actions contribute to inclusiveness. They seem simple, but they are very effective. The challenge is to apply them consciously and frequently.
- Great each other, make eye contact (online is eye contact not possible, pay attention online to each person).
- In the first meeting, search for “common grounds”, what do you share, what do you have in common?
- Treat everyone equally, regardless of rank, function, age, race, gender, visible and invisible limitations.
- Ask for a favor, the effect will be improvement of mutual trust
- Ask for feedback, which makes it easier to approach you.
- Give a sincere compliment
- Say “Thank you” so people know when you appreciate their efforts or interest in you.
- Reduce the territory effect: meet someone in their own environment or meat in neutral territory.
- Let the minority improve the opinion of the majority.
- Talk respectful about other people. Avoid generalizing or condescending language.