The Diversity Training Activity Book: 50 Activities for Promoting Communication and Understanding at Work


With our workforce becoming increasingly diverse, encouraging sensitivity and understanding in the workplace is a top priority for businesses everywhere. The Diversity Training Activity Book addresses such fundamental issues as change, communication, gender at work, and conflict resolution. Tested with hundreds of participants to ensure the appropriateness and effectiveness for a variety of diversity training needs, the simple activities in this book will help employees at all levels cope with cultural and gender...

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With our workforce becoming increasingly diverse, encouraging sensitivity and understanding in the workplace is a top priority for businesses everywhere. The Diversity Training Activity Book addresses such fundamental issues as change, communication, gender at work, and conflict resolution. Tested with hundreds of participants to ensure the appropriateness and effectiveness for a variety of diversity training needs, the simple activities in this book will help employees at all levels cope with cultural and gender differences and master new skills for communicating more effectively. Here readers will learn how to: 

• share their beliefs about coworkers of different backgrounds

• manage a culturally diverse workforce

• deal with issues of gender in the workplace

• understand differences in dress, appearance, and social customs

Filled with activities, role playing exercises, sample icebreakers, and case studies, this book will help all employees create a more harmonious, open workplace no matter what their cultural background.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814415368
  • Publisher: AMACOM
  • Publication date: 8/26/2009
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 349,262
  • Product dimensions: 8.40 (w) x 10.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Jonamay Lambert (Chicago, IL) is Founder and President of Lambert & Associates, Inc., and has designed and implemented training programs in diversity, leadership, and change management for both Fortune 100 companies and smaller organizations alike.

Selma Myers (LaJolla, CA) is a trained mediator and co-author of Conflict Resolution Across Cultures. Together they have written 13 trainer’s guides in the Diversity at Work training series.

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Read an Excerpt


By now, most organizations are aware that changes in the general population profoundly affect the makeup of their workforce in the twenty-first century. This book is therefore designed to meet the needs of professionals who are expected to address the implications of cultural diversity through training, facilitating and other developmental programs.

The underlying philosophy in The Diversity Training Activity Book is to train workshop participants to deal constructively with the changing workforce, and to do so in a nonthreatening environment. A new awareness, coupled with matching skills, can build bridges of understanding and cooperation which will influence daily performance.

Individuals participating in the activities offered in this guide will first examine their own cultural backgrounds. They will then recognize how cultural differences may impact behavior. They will also learn skills to help them work effectively in a multicultural environment. Ultimately, their organizations will benefit through improved communication, reduced conflict and more productive relationships.

The activities contained in this guide are equally useful in industrial, service, government and not-for-profit organizations, as well as health care, educational, financial and other institutions.

Certain assumptions form the basis for the activities in this book:

--Culture is not good or bad. It just “is.”

--Often what may be considered “just the way it is” is culturally influenced.

--One’s view of the world is shaped by values, perceptions, assumptions, and expectations.

--The more people know about their own culture, and the more they know about other cultures, the better the communication will be.

--The way one does or sees things, when coupled with the way others do and see things, can lead to new improved ways of doing and seeing things.

--Being different is “OK” and differences can be recognized, acknowledged and cherished.

--The responsibility for intellectual communication is not solely that of any one of the parties, but shared by all.

Furthermore, the authors assume that those who are conducting this training have conducted training before. Therefore, this book does not include basic information on how to design needs assessments, lesson plans or the steps necessary for handling logistics.

This book provides a series of activities which are carefully constructed to:

--Introduce the topic of diversity

--Increase awareness of the impact of culture in the workplace

--Demonstrate skills for managing a culturally diverse workplace

--Address the matter of gender in the workplace

Each activity is presented in the following format:

--NAME, to identify the exercise

--Brief description of the PURPOSE of the exercise

--Normal TIME allotment

--EQUIPMENT required

--Consumable MATERIALS needed

--PROCEDURES suggesting how the exercise should be conducted

--Short CONCLUSION section


Our approach is to use participative exercises, lecturettes, mini–case studies and role-plays in which participants will become actively involved in situations that help them deal with diversity and gender-related issues in the workplace. Also included are many exercises in master form, available for use either as handouts or as material for transparencies.

Jonamay Lambert

Selma Myers

Excerpted from THE DIVERSITY TRAINING ACTIVITY BOOK by Jonamay Lambert and Selma Myers. Copyright © 2009. Published by AMACOM Books, a division of American Management Association, New York, NY. Used with permission.

All rights reserved.

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Table of Contents


Preface v

Symbols 1

Introduction 3


1. Name That Feeling 13

2. Diversity Letter Game 15

3. Who Do You Know? 17

4. Time Marches On 19

5. Back to the Future 21

6. Into the Future 23

7. Cultural Hat Dance 25

8. Take Your Pick—Learning Styles 27

9. Political Savvy 29

10. Head in the Clouds, Nose to the Grindstone 31


11. Introductions 35

12. Understanding the Impact of Culture on Work 37

13. Ups and Downs 43

14. Personal Influences 45

15. The Way It Is: The Real Issues 51

16. What Is Culture? The Iceberg Theory 53

17. Cultural Baggage 57

18. First Thoughts 59

19. Points of View 65

20. Seeing Is Believing, or Is It? 69

21. Communicating Our Way 75

22. DESO Model of Intercultural Communication 79

23. Qualities That Make a Difference 89

24. Addressing Language Barriers 93

25. Action Plan 103

26. The Impact of Change 107


27. Dealing with Change: Barriers and Strategies 115

28. Self-Assessment Regarding Change 121

29. Introduction to Listening: A Self-Inventory 125

30. Name Your Partner 131

31. Non-Verbal Communication 133

32. Self-Talk 143

33. Coaching Across Cultures 157

34. Multicultural Team Building 171

35. Addressing Conflict Resolution 183

36. Resolving Disputes: Skills for Third-Party Intervention 203


37. Historical Overview 221

38. Gender Issues at Work 229

39. Written and Unwritten Rules 237

40. Inclusion—Exclusion 245

41. Gender Tapes: Decades on Parade 247

42. Myths and Stereotypes: Old Wives’ Tales 255

43. First and Lasting Thoughts 259

44. Strategies for Success 263

45. Communicating Across Gender 269

46. Worlds Apart—or Is It Words Apart? 277

47. Communication Style 285


48. Identifying Your Values: An Exploration 299

49. Reviewing Your Itinerary 305

50. Finding the Right Boss: Getting Back on the Right Track 313

Index 317

About the Authors 323

Files for the Exercises, Overhead Transparencies, Handouts are online at:

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 18, 2010

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    Hands-on training manual for understanding diversity

    The modern workforce is multicultural, multigenerational and more diverse than any previous labor pool. This detailed activity book helps trainers teach employees how to approach diversity issues with empathy, sensitivity and understanding. Its exercises, designed by seasoned diversity trainers Jonamay Lambert and Selma Myers, can help promote awareness, improve communication, break down stereotypes, correct misconceptions and resolve conflicts. The authors, who assume that readers already have some experience as trainers, provide 50 discussions and activities that facilitators can use to help employees and managers deal properly with differences in ethnicity, gender, race and more. Using the provided lectures, questionnaires, handouts, discussions and role-playing exercises, trainers can help participants understand and work with cultural differences. getAbstract recommends this hands-on workbook to human resources directors, coaches, teachers and trainers in all kinds of organizations.

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  • Posted September 8, 2009

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    Diversity Training Review

    I received this book when it was released. I did reveiw some of the activities. I would have liked to see more activities relating to communication and working with diverse teams. Some of the activities I would not use in my workplace training environment.

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