Applying Workplace Diversity Training Soft Skills to Daily Parenting

Workplace diversity training is a mix of soft skills that highlight effective communication skills and workable conflict resolution while interacting with workers from diverse backgrounds. Interestingly, these lessons transfer to daily parenting. Who knew?

Reasons for Workplace Diversity Training

Dr. Michael Bird outlines that leadership training and managing diversity go hand in hand. Employee team performance is tied directly to intercultural communication skills and conflict resolution. To maximize cooperation, the leader of the team must possess soft skills that highlight the ability to relate to various age demographics, cultural backgrounds and traditions.

From the Workplace to the Home

Granted, the children did not grow up in a foreign country or come from a different cultural background — although sometimes it is hard to recognize the little smiling cherub of yesteryear who has become the surly teen with the Emo haircut as your own — but relating to them is just a difficult. How often do teens complain that their parents do not understand them while adults groan over the seemingly innocuous situations that now give rise to conflicts?

Transferring the Soft Skills

Positive reinforcement
One size does not fit all. Diversity training teaches that older workers require different incentives than their younger counterparts for proper motivation; the same holds true within a family. An outing to the fast food restaurant may be great for the elementary school-aged child; the middle school student requires something a bit grander – in L.A. this could be a trip to Pink’s – as a reward.

Differently-able team member assignments
Diversity training also takes into account the inclusion of disabled workers into ever facet of the workforce. Transfer these soft skills to the home by altering tasks to allow any volunteer to perform them. For example, a pint-sized chef may help in the kitchen with the help of child-sized dishes and tools. This cuts down on frustration and angry outbursts by the youngest members of the family who feel left out.

Task sharing
Conflict resolution increases (and employee turnover decreases) when team members share a task and subsequently a goal. Take this lesson of leadership training to heart by giving kids joint responsibility for any given project. In the case of an only child, one of the parents will partner with the youngster on an equal footing to see the task through to the end. In other words, temporarily suspend the parent-child relationship and treat the youngster as an equal (as appropriate), deferring to her opinion or advice.

What Diversity Training is Not

Leadership training that takes workplace diversity to heart is frequently maligned as being a crash course in political correctness. TMC emphatically explains that the communication skills, conflict resolution tools and leadership training received as a result of diversity training have nothing to do with being politically correct.

From the familial perspective, transferring diversity training skills could be viewed as a form of appeasement to one or more complaining youngsters. This is not the case. Instead, it is a re-tooling of the parent-child relationship that takes into account the gradual emotional, intellectual and physical maturing – albeit at varying levels – that children undergo.

Ignore these lessons at your own risk; especially if your teen claims that “you just don’t understand.”


Michael Bird: “Improving Project Productivity with Diverse Membership
TMC: “What Diversity & Inclusion is Really About