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Colorful Knitted Print
Dynamic workshops that support an inclusive work environment where your employees thrive

I facilitate a range of interactive workshops aimed at helping organizations in creating and maintaining welcoming and inclusive workplaces where all individuals feel valued and respected. I focus on delivering engaging and practical content that meets participants at various stages of their own journeys in these conversations.  Staff emerge with actionable tools and resources to successfully navigate complex workplace situations with increased assurance, empathy, and a keener understanding of their impact on others.

Beyond First Impressions: Understanding Implicit and Explicit Bias

This foundational class supports participants increasing their awareness of their own personal biases - both explicit and implicit - and how these biases impact the ways in which we navigate the world. Learning to give your first impressions a second look is a challenging and incredibly meaningful undertaking that requires humility, curiosity, and patience. I use a combination of videos, polls, and storytelling to define and explore some of the biases that impact many of us, oftentimes outside of our conscious awareness, and provide research-based guidance on how to challenge the stories we regularly make up about others. No one workshop can reverse the narrative that has been playing in your head about an identity group your entire life, but I provide participants practical, actionable tools to undertake the process of challenging those scripts. In this class we explore: • The differences between and the importance of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging; • How different aspects of our identities impact how we see the world and how we are seen by others in the world; • The differences between explicit and implicit bias and the role of stereotypes; • Several common implicit biases that occur in the workplace; • Practical strategies to challenge our own implicit biases; and • The creation of a personal anti-bias action plan. This class can be either two or three hours in length, with the recommended three-hour class going deeper into the above topics and providing participants effective strategies for interrupting other people’s biased and prejudicial language, whether directed at them or someone else.

Leading a Culture of Belonging and Psychological Safety

In this highly interactive 3-hour class, leaders learn about the essential role that they play in creating a supportive and welcoming work environment where their team members enjoy a sense of belonging and psychological safety. At some point in our lives, we have all felt that we did not belong. Leaders are introduced to myriad effective techniques to cultivate and maintain a work environment where employees can be their authentic selves, do their best work, enjoy psychological safety, and truly belong. I provide participants with several practical tools and resources that they can immediately implement to create a culture of belonging and psychological safety among their team. This class specifically explores: • The differences between fitting in and belonging • The myriad benefits of employees experiencing a sense of belonging at work • The elements of a psychologically safe workplace • How to assess your work group's current sense of belonging and psychological safety, using both formal and informal assessment methods • Behaviors that staff engage in when they have a sense of belonging and the importance of leaders role modeling these same behaviors • Common obstacles to belonging and psychological safety in a team • Creation of a plan of practical action steps

From Awareness to Action: Interrupting Biased and Prejudicial Language

This 2-hour class is a follow up course to the Beyond First Impressions class, providing participants the opportunity to practice techniques for responding in real time to biased and prejudicial comments and behaviors, both when they are the target or when they are a bystander to comments directed at others. Working in small groups, they will apply these techniques to a series of hypothetical and realistic scenarios that could arise in the workplace. This class lends itself particularly well to employees in public and customer servicing roles who may often be on the receiving end or vicinity of biased or prejudicial language.

Reducing Bias in the Hiring Process

Many organizations’ hiring processes create unintentional barriers to attracting and hiring candidates from diverse backgrounds and lived experiences. In this workshop, we will do a deep dive into the myriad implicit biases that can negatively impact our ability to make the best choices in the recruiting and hiring processes. In a highly interactive format, I'll provide practical guidance on how to recognize and overcome the unintentional barriers we may be creating in every step of the hiring process, including providing guidance on the following: • establishing metrics to increase the diversity of your workforce; • attributes of a strong job description and job posting; • how to cast a wider net in your outreach to candidates from more diverse backgrounds and experiences; • the significance of your website and social media’s messaging to potential candidates; • evaluating applications carefully; • conducting consistent and less biased interviews; and • best practices for prompt and consistent evaluation of candidates. During the class, we also will explore together a scenario that allows participants to identify what a fictitious hiring manager does well (and not so well) in this scenario. I provide participants a number of handouts and materials that capture the content of the class, including recommended statements and questions to incorporate into both job descriptions and interviews to better explore a candidate’s experience working in a multicultural work environment. I additionally share tools that will guide participants on what questions to ask – and not to ask – during the interview process. I often supplement this class by consulting with Human Resources staff to review current hiring-related processes, policies, and procedures and to provide detailed, targeted feedback and resources.

Recognizing and Responding to Microaggressions

In this class, we explore microaggressions: the everyday verbal and nonverbal slights, snubs, or insults, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative messages to target persons based upon marginalized group membership. Together we will distinguish between the often positive intent of the speaker of the microaggression and the typically negative impact on the target. We will explore many different types of microaggressions directed at different identity groups and explore how these microaggressions can impact us both personally and professionally. I’ll provide participants with practical ways to respond to microaggressions, whether in real time or after the fact, and whether they are the target or whether they are intervening as an ally to someone else. The class concludes by providing participants the opportunity to explore together a series of scenarios that could realistically arise in the workplace and to consider different ways to respond.

Allyship in Action: the Dynamics of Allyship and Privilege

In this workshop, we explore the many ways in which we can be an ally to someone else. Being an ally is not a noun or a self-designated title. Rather, allyship is a verb describing someone who uses their own power or advantages to help someone else overcome some sort of barrier or hurdle. Being an ally doesn't require you to wear a superhero's cape or have a bottomless checkbook - even small actions that we take can have a tremendously positive impact on someone else. We specifically explore the different roles that an ally can play to assist another as well as some of the missteps we might make along the way. We also explore the integral connection between our privileges and our ability to act as an ally, navigating what privilege and demystifying what it is not. We conclude by discussing types of privilege associated with different aspects of identity and creating commitments for allyship moving forward.

From Clash to Collaboration: Navigating Workplace Conflict

Many of us have noticed that, in recent years, disagreements have seemed a lot more like combat than conflict. In our highly polarized world, we may find it increasingly difficult to have conversations with people whose perspectives and goals differ from our own. Let's reframe our understanding of conflict and find ways to navigate it productively AND keep relationships intact! In this class, we'll cover: •The most common conflict styles; •How to identify the type of conflict; •What outcomes to seek; •How to prepare in advance (emotionally, strategically, and logistically); and •Detailed guidance on how to navigate the actual conversation, including tips of managing emotions; language to use (and to avoid!); and how to get to a resolution that ideally feels fair to everyone involved. We will learn together through interactive exercises, including case studies, personal reflection, and group activities.

The EQ Advantage: Developing Emotional Intelligence Skills (starting spring 2024)

Emotional intelligence, or EQ, is the ability to recognize, understand, manage, and effectively express emotions both within oneself and toward others. EQ is a critical skill to thriving in professional environments and yet it’s something that we are often not taught or have reinforced as adults. While some people naturally seem to have high EQ, many facets of EQ can be cultivated through learning and practice. In this class, we will explore the five core pillars of emotional intelligence: self-awareness, self-regulation, empathy, social skills, and motivation. Before class, participants will assess their current EQ. The class is dedicated to exploring in an interactive fashion different strategies for every individual to increase their EQ. This class endeavors to foster a workplace culture where staff feel increasingly confident effectively managing and expressing their emotions and working collaboratively with others.

Facilitating Inclusive Meetings

Most of us spend a lot of time in meetings and, for many of us, we feel undervalued and lacking a voice in these meetings. The pandemic has triggered an increased awareness that meetings - whether in-person, remote, or a combination of the two - are not always inclusive of all of our team members. In this one-hour class well-suited to a lunch and learn, supervisors and managers learn practical strategies for hosting inclusive meetings, including an abundance of steps that leaders can intentionally take, even before a meeting starts, to ensure that meeting attendees feel comfortable participating, that their participation is valued, and that they have both a proverbial and a literal seat at the table.

The Lens of Culture: the Art of Seeing Through Different Eyes

During this highly interactive workshop, we explore the various cultures that we personally inhabit and steps that we can take to become more culturally competent. Cultural competency – the ability to understand, communicate with, and effectively interact with people across various cultures – is a lifelong journey and a skill essential to succeeding in today’s culturally-diverse work environment. Participants are provided with the skills to begin to question the tremendous impact of their cultural lenses in both their personal and professional lives. This class encompasses defining culture and exploring both its visible and invisible components; exploring some of the myriad cultures that we personally inhabit and how our related cultural lenses impact how we navigate the world; and navigating the differences between collectivistic and individualistic cultures and how these two types of cultures impact how we communicate and interact with others.

Narratives of Connection: Bridging Cultures through Storytelling

This class provides participants an opportunity to put into practice their takeaways from the Lens of Culture class. Participants receive guidance on how to research a culture that they do not personally belong to and prepare a presentation in a variety of possible mediums to share their learnings with their team members about a culture they were previously unfamiliar with. Participants not only benefit from learning about myriad cultures different from their own, but also gain new skills and confidence in the art of storytelling, which can be a powerful conduit of understanding and connection.

DEIB Academy: From Awareness to Action

DEIB Academy: From Awareness to Action, a 9-month (for leaders) or 7-month (for individual contributors) program leads a cohort of participants exclusively from your organization through a series of monthly learning sessions. Organizations around the world provide diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (“DEIB”) trainings to their staff in recognition of the critical importance of giving employees the skills to navigate our increasingly diverse workplaces and to contribute to an inclusive, welcoming work environment. But one-time, “check the box” style DEIB trainings, particularly without organizational reinforcement, are traditionally ineffective in effectuating longstanding change. Participants in DEIB trainings are more successful in changing longstanding beliefs and behaviors if they not only increase their awareness of these biases and related behaviors, but also devote time to challenging these longstanding narratives and creating new behaviors. Awareness alone is not enough – we must also take action. The DEIB Academy not only will provide participants the opportunity to gain robust knowledge of essential DEIB topics, but also the opportunity to process and practice implementing their newfound knowledge and skills in the workplace alongside their small cohort. Rather than focusing exclusively on what not to do, participants will learn and practice what behaviors will help others feel valued, respected, and heard. Participants will complete pre-work and post-work before and after each session to ensure that they thoughtfully consider the content and to provide the opportunity to put their newfound skills and knowledge into action. Please contact me (mandy@mandylevineconsulting.com) for a detailed curriculum and with any questions.

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