Chances are you’ve summoned a ride using Uber by now, or you know someone who has. A regular user or driver is likely to notice frequent updates to the app – in their own words, the transportation network company is “always working to make the Uber experience as hassle-free as possible for our riders and driver-partners.”
Besides setting a fleet of driverless cars out onto the streets of Pittsburgh (we’re growing to trust them!), Uber appears to live up to its statement with the inclusion of accessibility features.
Hard of Hearing? No Problem for Uber.
There’s a feature for that. How does it work? From Uber’s website: “The Uber Partner app includes capabilities for deaf and hard of hearing partners. These features are all completely optional.”
Uber partners who are deaf or hard of hearing need only make the setting active, which prompts their app to:
- Turn off calling and use text-only messaging. “The ability to call a deaf or hard of hearing driver-partner is turned off for the rider – instead, riders are directed to text their driver if they need to communicate with them.”
- Flashing trip request notifications. “The Uber Partner app signals a new trip request with a flashing light in addition to the existing audio notification.”
- Add a prompt for the rider’s destination. “Once a partner with this setting turned on accepts a ride, the rider will see a prominent screen asking for their destination.”
- Show a message to let riders know the driver is deaf or hard of hearing.
Lead The Way
Widely-known companies that provide features like this pave the way for inclusion in our workplaces, our tech, and even our social interactions. Where it could have been easy for Uber to just encourage diverse hiring, they identified an opportunity to actively welcome capable drivers who are hard of hearing by ensuring their experience, and the experience of those drivers’ riders, is the best it can be.
This is what the Dignity & Respect Campaign’s Lead the Way initiative is truly about: recognizing and promoting our companies, institutions, communities – and apps! – who support the potential of ALL and treat others with dignity and respect.
You don’t have to be Uber to make a difference. Dignity and respect can start anywhere, big or small. How can your organization can help to make the world a better place?
Learn more this Uber accessibility feature here.
We’re quickly approaching Election Day 2016. While months of news coverage and debate are behind us, we’re likely still feeling the effects of a highly polarized political climate. This election cycle has caused a particularly tangible rift between people, even between friends and family who don’t typically disagree with each other. Many of us have been active participants in online and in-person conversations about the candidates, their policies, and their scandals. Many of these conversations are likely to have been intense, even heated. Many are rife with misunderstanding.
The Politics of Conversation
When emotions run high and even widespread viewpoints are so mismatched, it can seem impossible to find common ground. To top it all, fact becomes difficult to discern from fiction. Truths and untruths alike are coming at us from all directions, including our media.
This kind of political climate makes a few questions especially relevant, even urgent:
- Do I have to respect the views of someone I disagree with?
- Do I have to respect that person despite their views, some of which I find harmful or false?
- Is it right to agree to disagree?
- When is it time to talk, and time to walk away?
Navigating Tough Discussions
We aren’t always going to agree with each other. In fact, it’s pretty realistic to say that, quite often, we won’t. Conflict is a part of life. What we want to avoid is unproductive conflict. In the heat of an argument, we oftentimes become so wrapped up in the point we’re trying to make that we don’t take a moment to, first, listen to ourselves, and second, understand where someone else is coming from.
That misunderstanding gets us nowhere. The way we can start to make progress is by building personal awareness, and encouraging others to do the same.
The first 2 of our 7 Pillars of Dignity & Respect provide a platform to begin:
- START WITH YOU. Understand how you see yourself, how others see you, and how your filters guide you and influence your behavior.
- SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF. Understand the concepts of intent vs. impact. Become mindful of how you respond to others and be responsible for your words and actions.
Our differences shouldn’t tear us apart. Making the effort to become more aware can put us in a better position to understand each other, and it builds our ability to argue intelligently and effectively.
When Views Cause Harm
When someone’s viewpoint is harmful to others, it’s up to you to decide whether to make that person aware of the harm. However well-intentioned we are, remember that we don’t often get anywhere when we try to force our ideas on someone who doesn’t want to hear them.
We don’t have to agree to disagree with someone who is spreading harmful views. We do, however, need to build up the respect, awareness, and tools that can overcome those views. Taking time to understand where someone is coming from and seeking out what you have in common is a place to start. Providing resources, rather than telling someone you think they’re wrong, can go far. The smarter we fight, the better we become.
Demonstrate Mutual Respect (Although It’s Hard)
When we take steps to understand each other, the results might not be immediate. In the meantime, it can be difficult to be respectful. It’s even harder when the person we’re talking with doesn’t respect our views – or us.
Tip #9 of our 30 Tips is this: Demonstrate Mutual Respect. While we can’t force someone to respect us, we can lead by example. Each person is fundamentally worthy of respect and dignity. Someone you disagree with, who holds beliefs or viewpoints that are different than yours, is still someone.
We encourage you to download the 30 Tips of Dignity and Respect and learn about the 7 Pillars, which can be incorporated into smarter, more effective discussions about Election 2016 and beyond. If you want to use your organization or workplace to make the world a better place for ALL of us, with ALL of our differences, contact us for information on our workshops and speaking engagements!
When breaking stories go viral and flood both news outlets and social media, our first reaction is usually to form an opinion. We read about the situation and often pick a side, maybe even by sharing our beliefs across our own feeds. The wonder of the Internet is that we can engage in heated debates using hashtags and memes. We’re free to share and defend whatever stance we want.
But what happens if these heated news stories leak into the workplace? Are we free to share our beliefs there? How do we talk about these issues?
The World We Live & Work In
When it comes to how each one of us sees the world, we all have different filters that are dictated by our personal experiences. According to D&R Founder and CEO, Candi Castleberry Singleton, these filters are “the lenses with which we see the world.”
“I see the world through my life experiences,” she explains. “In fact, some of these experiences aren’t even my own – they’re stories that my parents told me, they’re things I’ve seen on the news. They might not even be a real example of what happened if I were in that situation.”
Our filters are unavoidable, and are particularly important to be mindful of in a work environment, where conflicts can easily arise. And even though differences in opinion or lifestyle should not affect the workplace, they very often do. In fact, according to one study by Accenture, a shocking 35% of employees are dissatisfied at work due to internal politics.
What You Can Do
For business owners, executives, or human resource team members, it’s crucial to ensure that your workplace is a positive one. Things like employees’ ethnic and cultural differences, age gaps, and lifestyles can easily affect how individuals relate to one another. Creating a space where your employees can communicate respectfully is key to maintaining a healthy environment.
The Dignity & Respect Campaign believes that differences – particularly in the workplace – are only barriers if we allow them to be. As Candi says, “It’s a choice we get to make, that I’m going to allow your difference to be a problem.” When we choose respect over conflict, we make the world we live in a better place.
And because D&R is about creating a world a better place for all to live, we want to help you get your organizations and businesses on track. Using our various solutions, we teach individuals to find common ground, build cultural awareness, and to learn to work with others through their differences.
To learn more, contact our Campaign Manager for more information. Also, be sure to sign up for our newsletter to continue receiving information on the Dignity & Respect Campaign!
For many of us, treating others with dignity and respect might sound like common sense, but how effective are we at actually putting it into practice? If someone were to ask if you deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, you would likely respond with a definitive answer – of course you do!
But if someone were to ask you if you treat others with dignity and respect, how would you respond? Would you be hesitant to answer with an unwavering ‘yes’? Would you say yes, for the most part – or yes, but it depends?
Although we tend to have conviction about wanting to be treated with dignity and respect, we are often inconsistent in treating others with such. This is where the Dignity & Respect Campaign comes in. As one of our initiatives, D&R, Inc. offers Solutions in the form of both Educational and Training programs, Collateral, and even Speaking Engagements for events.
What is D&R Training?
Our specialized Training programs are based on the 7 Pillars of Dignity & Respect. They are broken down into modules for each pillar of behavior, and each module builds on the previous module(s). We present these materials in two formats: online segments that can be completed individually, as well as facilitated workshops for groups.
In addition to the 7 modules, the D&R Training programs are also divided into sections for Individuals, Teams, and Organizations. By using this method, we can help instill these fundamental behaviors into individuals, who will bring them into their teams. It is the attitudes and actions of both individuals and teams that create an organization’s culture.
What Can You Gain from Training?
D&R Training makes a difference in the dynamics of both teams and organizations by improving how they work effectively with one another. Additionally, these modules help to build and increase cultural awareness, as well as the ability to find common ground amongst various groups of people. When dignity and respect are talked about and worked on through team efforts, it helps to create a sense of inclusion.
So while it’s a nice idea to state that one stands for dignity and respect, it is another thing entirely to commit to achieving these notions – and incorporating them into lifestyles and cultures. Let us help you achieve this. Contact us today for more information on how to get started.
Every day, you wake up with a choice. When you leave your home to go out into the world, you can either operate on autopilot – reacting haphazardly to interactions with others, or avoiding them altogether – or you can be mindful of your behavior and how it’s affecting other people.
Each one of us makes this choice every day – many times a day – though we may not consciously know it. But what if you started paying attention to your habits and committed to treating everyone you encounter with dignity and respect?
This is what the 30 Tips of Dignity & Respect aims to do. These simple tips are everyday behaviors that you can easily incorporate into your life – that will make a world of difference to those around you.
So read the list and follow the tips, and learn how to start making the world a better place for ALL to live:
- Start with you. Reflect on how you see others, and how others see you.
- Sweat the small stuff. It’s often the small things, such as being kind and courteous, that make a difference.
- Smile. A smile can be contagious.
- Say “Hello.” You could make someone’s day.
- Say “Thank you.” Gratitude is a gift that’s never too small to give.
- Treat others the way they want to be treated. Find out what respect means to others.
- Build cultural awareness. Differences are barriers only if we allow them to be.
- Make a new friend. Start a conversation and learn something new.
- Demonstrate mutual respect. Inclusion means being respectful regardless of position or title.
- Ask. It’s okay to ask when you’re not sure.
- Find common ground. Discover what you have in common.
- Communicate respectfully. It’s not just what you say, but how you say it.
- Practice patience. Take the time to get the full story.
- Seek understanding. It’s better to not fully understand than to fully misunderstand.
- Share your point of view. Everyone has a perspective. Let others benefit from yours.
- Get someone else’s point of view. After sharing your perspective, give others a chance to share theirs.
- Reinvent the wheel. Do something that hasn’t already been done.
- Be open. Try to experience new thoughts and ideas as learning opportunities.
- Be flexible. Things don’t always go as planned. Adapt to changing conditions when necessary.
- Join the team. Do your part to support teamwork.
- Be a relationship builder. Seek ways to expand your network.
- Build trust. Be fair. Limit bias and favoritism.
- Lead the way. Let your inclusive behavior light a path for others.
- Listen. People feel respected when they know you’re listening to their point of view.
- Remember we all make mistakes. Resist the urge to point out the ones others make.
- Do the right thing. Make a difference. Get caught being good.
- Become a mentor. You – yes, you – can help others realize their potential.
- Lend a hand. A little help can go a long way.
- Live a healthy life. Do something good for your mind, body, & soul. Encourage others to join you.
- Be a champion of dignity and respect. Demonstrate respect for self, others, and your community.
Even with the relaunch of the Dignity & Respect Campaign, coupled with our new energy and direction, it would be remiss to move forward without acknowledging and reminding ourselves of what the campaign stands for in the first place.
One of our original and continued initiatives includes our 7 Pillars of Dignity & Respect. Each one of these pillars represents a specific behavior that we fully believe will help us all create an environment – whether it’s a classroom, a work setting, or even in the line at the supermarket – that we can all exist in both peacefully and productively.
1. Start with You. Understand how you see yourself, how others see you, and how your filters guide you, and influence your behavior.
We all have different backgrounds and vastly different experiences from one another. These experiences have shaped how you have come to see the world, as well as how you react to certain situations. Knowing these factors about yourself can go a long way in your ability to interact with others, and treat them with dignity and respect. Know your strengths as well as you know your weaknesses. Understand what has made you you
2. Sweat the Small Stuff. Understand the concepts of intent vs. impact. Become mindful of how you respond to others and be responsible for your words and actions.
Once you fully understand yourself, it’s crucial to know how others might perceive you. Does your humor upset others around you? Do you find yourself making jokes or casual comments that cause others to wince? This type of “harmless” behavior might not mean much to you, but often it can resonate with other people in deeper ways. Be sensitive to others and aware of your own actions. Hold yourself accountable.
3. Build Cultural Awareness. Respond to employees, customers, and business partners in a culturally appropriate manner. Treat others the way they want to be treated.
Cultural awareness does not simply involve learning about other cultures or belief systems. Building cultural awareness means you work towards accepting those differences. By understanding these differences and welcoming them into your communities or circles, we start to drop the barriers.
4. Find Common Ground. Work through differences and gain agreement while maintaining dignity and respect. Acknowledge the value of different perspectives.
Yes, it’s true that you might not understand another person’s opinion, and you might strongly disagree with it. But does that mean you disagree with that person entirely? Chances are very high that you have something in common with him or her. It could be a small thing (perhaps you both have children), or it could be something you didn’t expect (perhaps you have the same favorite author). Or maybe you and this person share a common passion that could spark a collaboration or partnership down the road. You won’t ever know until you try – until you set aside differences and look for the commonalities.
5. Join the Team. Create interactions on teams that are respectful of individual differences, build trust and agreement, limit bias and favoritism, and strive for the best overall outcomes.
Teams do not function at full capacity unless everyone is involved. Just as two heads are better than one, a team or group in which everyone is engaged and contributing is better than one or two individuals excluding the rest. It’s true that these types of interactions can be difficult to cultivate, which is why it takes everyone’s effort to involve others. Work to find the strengths of your teammates, and figure out the best ways to encourage and inspire each member.
6. Lead the Way. Be inclusive with every person, in every interaction, in everything you do, every day.
If each one of us waited for someone else to step up and be the first to lead an initiative, how many initiatives do you expect would get started? The truth is that it’s everyone’s responsibility to take charge and make an impact. This impact can be as small as an effort to smile at everyone you pass on the street.
7. Do the Right Thing. Do your part to make your organization, school, community, and sports team a better place for ALL to live, work, learn, and play.
Don’t do the easy thing – do the right thing. We all have the ability to make a difference in the lives of others. Don’t underestimate yourself or how much acting out of dignity and respect can impact the world.
In addition to knowing what each of these 7 Pillars stands for, the Dignity & Respect Campaign also offers modules and training materials for you to incorporate these principles into your own organization. Contact us for more information, and take the first step in making the world a better place for ALL to live.
There are only a few days of summer remaining. Why not take this time to try new things and expand your horizons. We too easily get stuck into a comfortable routine. Trying new things keeps our minds active and our hearts open. Here are some ideas to get you started:
1. Try a new type of food or cuisine
2. Learn a few words in a foreign language
3. Listen to a new type of music or find you next favorite band
5. Try an artistic pursuit like painting, dancing, or try out for a community theater
6. Start a collection
7. Read a book
8. Go to a cultural festival
9. Learn three facts about a religion different from your own
10. Introduce yourself to a stranger
Tell us what you discovered today!
Let us take time each day to remember the people who love and support us. Make sure they feel appreciated and you inspire everyone around you to be more loving, charitable, and open-hearted.
Here’s ten ways you can show your gratitude everyday:
1. Write a card
2. Send an email
3. Make a phone call
4. Bake cookies as a gift
5. Pay for a movie ticket
6. Surprise someone by cooking them dinner
7. Send flowers
8. Do a household chore
9. Offer a ride
How do you like to say “Thank You”? Share your ideas!
It is often the small things such as being kind and courteous that make a difference. We all lead very busy lives and sometimes in the hustle and bustle of everyday life we can easily forget how even our smallest actions impact the lives of others. Take time today to examine how you treat everyone you meet. Here are some ideas to get you started:
1. Drop a hand-written card in the mail to give someone an encouraging word.
2. Shovel snow for an older couple down the street.
3. Call a friend going through a difficult period to show your support.
4. Send a client something special that made you think of him or her.
5. Invite a friend to dinner and plan an evening with his/her interest in mind.
6. If you are a parent, plan a special day with your kids, but don’t tell them.
7. Offer to take a co-worker (who is not close to you) to lunch and buy it.
8. Pay the toll for the person following you and tell the gate attendant to communicate your brief message.
9. Stop by the hospital to visit a friend.
10. Cut the grass for a neighbor who is overwhelmed at work.
Find more great ideas on how to brighten someone’s day here: