Be Fit for Diversity!



The lack of clarity concerning the suitable behaviour in a situation.

Ambiguity Tolerance

The ability to accept lack of clarity and let it stand, as well as tolerating contradictions.


Appreciation for diversity is a major aspect of Diversity Competence and thus a prerequisite for successful Diversity Management. This kind of appreciation as part of the overall culture cultivated within an organization raises employee and customer satisfaction, and with it, the productivity of the organisation.


… is everything, that does not belong to one person, but to more than one. In the concept of diversity the fact that differences are something that all people have in common, is respected and seen as an advantage when defining common goals and cooperating together. Diversity Competence is indispensable for this to happen.

Competence Development

… occurs by acquiring knowledge, reflection of one’s own attitudes, and the conscious implementation of the learned abilities and skills over a period of time. Patience with one’s self and the further exchange of ideas with like-minded people after participating in a seminar is helpful in the development of competence and capacities.


… can be described as a set of rules and traditions, that effects our sub-conscious and influences our behaviour (development of habits). One only becomes aware of one’s own culture, when one has encountered a different culture.

Culture Shock

The description of irritation of a person, overwhelmed by the confrontation with the different habits and traditions of another culture.


… in way of thinking and action can be a challenge when cooperating or just for good relations. As part of the concept of diversity, they are not discarded as a mere disturbance, but one consciously takes the differences into account, in order for all to profit from them (Diversity Management).
Clearly, dealing with differences in this way is more time consuming and, initially, more strenuous than just letting habitual things take their course.


The dignity of man is a central concept of human rights that is enshrined in the constitutions of many states, including the German constitution. The dignity of man is inviolable and thus prohibits any abasing treatment. It is that criteria which distinguishes man, as the bearer of spiritual and moral values, from animals, plants and minerals. In any human interaction – whether in a political, economic, legal or social context – respect for human dignity is of paramount importance.


… The quality of being different. Without differences, there would be no diversity. Diversity Management deals with the diversity of visible and invisible differences. From the original focus on anti-discrimination aspects, now it sights on controlling and leveraging diversity for the betterment of all involved parties.


… means, to place one’s own ‘cultural rules’ at the core upon which the behaviour of others will be judged or measured.

Ethnorelative (or Polycentric)

… means, to see one’s own culture in the context of other cultures. Other behaviour is not necessarily bad or in need of improvement, but only different than our own.


… describes the state of complete sameness and an exact match. Since people can only be identical with themselves but not with others, the term identity in a social context describes people’s own view of their personal and cultural makeup. Paradoxically, identity also stands for uniqueness (i.e. fingerprint, DNA testing).
To be aware of one's own identity is a prerequisite for being open to others.


Many organisations have determined that active diversity management generates innovation and creativity, that in turn result in a value-add for the organisation.


Developing an organization and human resources based on diversity promotes the profitable interaction of the latent potentialities inherent to diversity. The meer technical acceptance or tolerance of people considered as ‘outsiders’ are not sufficient as part of the concept of diversity. Not until diversity compentent members of heterogeneuos teams interact with one another can the potentialities be exploited and novel solutions made possible.

Intercultural Competence

… is a specific form of social competence. It is the result of an active process of learning and development.
… can be described as the ability within an intercultural interaction to be open to cultural differences, experiencing them appreciatively, and then to communicate and act appropriate to the situation. Hence, it consists of various factors and has its effect in the interplay thereof.


… are rigid generalizations that do not allow for individual differences or specifications (‘pigeonhole’).


Many organizations have recognized the advantages of mixed teams. The differing point of views generate a high level of creativity that leads to novel solutions. In order to profit from the diversity in a team, diversity competence is a requirement.

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Dr. Mitra Detweiler     Detweiler Training & Seminars     Platanenweg 9     D - 63303 Dreieich