They used to call it “being a mensch.”

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There is something about Americans you can call basic human decency. We don’t believe in treating anyone like dirt. Maybe we don’t live up to that value all the time. But the values are there.

In contemporary times, we say “diversity and inclusion” as a way of referring to the effort to ensure the workplace is safe and welcoming for everyone.

The problem is, as a management concept, the term “diversity and inclusion” may be experienced by some as exclusionary. It also may not be fully descriptive of the range of differences employees experience in their psychological, social, cultural and economic environments.

Maybe I am naive, or simpleminded. But what if we could just focus on what it might feel like to stand in another person’s shoes? Jewish people call this “acting like a mensch.”

If we could only do that, we would by default create the kind of workplaces that reflect the many different backgrounds and challenges (seen and unseen) of those who work there.

And if we can do that, not only will we make the workplace psychologically safer, but we will also promote real engagement and productivity among team members, which is necessary for a business to exist in the first place.

By Dr. Dannielle Blumenthal (Dossy). All opinions are the author’s own. Public domain.