Dive into conversations about Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion with the DEI Thumball by Trainers Warehouse. The DEI Thumball tackles a difficult topic with smarts and sensitivity.
After all, building community and culture by understanding our individual identities and differences isn’t just nice-to-do. It’s our shared responsibility. Diversity, equity, and inclusion are critical to creating high-performing, supportive, and engaging workplaces. Unfortunately, many leaders are unsure about how to have conversations about these sensitive topics and then how to transform the discussions and intent into action.
The D-E-I Thumball helps team leaders, teachers, and managers have safe and constructive conversations about identity, experiences with racism, community challenges, privilege and power, as well as ways to promote tolerance and feelings of belonging. In addition to the 31 conversation prompts contained on the Thumball, you’ll find FACILITATION TIPS and a GLOSSARY of common DEI terms in the packaging.
Many people worry about saying the wrong thing during DEI conversations. As a result, these important conversations often don’t happen. The DEI Thumball is loaded with poignant conversation prompts about identity, experiences, community, us-versus-them thinking, privilege and power, and DEI in today’s world. Each prompt, vetted by diversity experts, is phrased to promote positive conversation and shared understanding.
Thumball™ is a soft 6" stuffed vinyl ball that looks like a cool soccer ball. Its panels are pre-printed with questions suited for adults and teens. Safely toss it around in a group and ask participants to share their reaction to whatever prompt lies under their thumb.
- 31 prompts about Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
- 6" ball is safe to toss indoors
- Conversation prompts vetted by industry experts
- Facilitation notes included in packaging
- Glossary of common DEI terms in packaging
VERSATILE DIVERSITY-EQUITY & INCLUSION PROMPTS include...
- A dominant aspect of my identity that influences how I feel & act
- An aspect of my identity that makes me feel proud is…
- How have aspects of my identity changed over the years?
- A time you felt (or wished for) a sense of belonging
- How could someone intervene if they witnessed a micro-aggression?
- A time you became aware of unconscious bias
- Define or give an example of a workplace micro-aggression
- With whom do you feel more/less safe in sharing emotions & experiences?
- What new initiatives could strengthen feelings of belonging?
- How can we create safe spaces for conversations across difference?
- How do we ensure that everyone has a voice & an ally?
- How can we better incorporate different perspectives in our decision-making?
- How can we strengthen our psychological safety net?
Us vs Them thinking
- Something I’ve learned from people whose identities differ from mine
- What does it mean to be an ally for others?
Privilege and Power
- What does privilege mean to you?
- How can power dynamics impact peoples’ sense of inclusion?
- In your mind, what does oppression look like?
- In what ways do you feel privileged?
- What might scare you about intervening when you see a micro-aggression?
- What recent events most influence your thinking of DEI? (political, economic, environmental, cultural)
- What prevents people from stepping up as an ally for diversity and inclusion?
©Trainers Warehouse 2023
TIP 1: Create a safe environment – Beyond sharing your goals and wishes for open dialogue, discuss ways in which the group can create “psychological safety.”
- Recognize that everyone joins the conversation with unique experiences and knowledge. Embrace players’ needs to pass on a question or ask for explanations.
- Acknowledge the difficulty in sharing personal information and offer support. Use “OUCH” signs, to indicate personal hurt or express empathy.
- Listen and ask questions to understand and empathize, not to defend, debate, or rationalize.
TIP 2: Set ground rules together – Players are more likely to abide by ground rules if they help define them. The group’s list will likely look something like this:
- One person speaks at a time
- Speak for yourself; Use “I” statements
- Seek understanding by asking for clarification
- Critique ideas, not people
- Agree to disagree. Disagree without being disagreeable
- Listen and validate other players
- Be open to new ideas, not judgmental
TIP 3: Be prepared if conversations get sticky – Equip yourself with a few techniques to ease emotional situations
- Revert to the ground rules, as needed
- Express how situations make you feel
- If parties disagree, suggest they switch roles and make the counter argument
- Keep a “parking lot” of difficult topics to be addressed later
- Share your own personal stories
- Take a break and regroup later
- Thank participants for sharing
TIP 4: Establish a shared vocabulary – Define common terms in the DEI world’s evolving lexicon.
Ally / Allyship: Someone who supports a group other than one’s own
Anti-Racist: a person who opposes racism and promotes racial equality.
BIPOC: An acronym used to refer to Black, Indigenous and People of Color.
Conversation across difference: open discussions about peoples’ different beliefs and backgrounds.
Micro-Aggression: Verbal or nonverbal slights which communicate derogatory or negative messages to target persons. i.e. “You are a credit to your race.” “I jewed him down.” “Why are you so loud/quiet?”
Psychological safety: refers to an environment in which team players can take risks without fear of retribution or negative consequences.
Unconscious Bias: stereotypes about certain groups of people that form outside individuals’ conscious awareness. Common biases are based on gender, race, weight, ageism, beauty, name, height, etc.; i.e. consider this riddle: a father and son are in a horrible car crash that kills the dad. The son is rushed to the hospital; just as he’s about to go under the knife, the surgeon says, “I can’t operate—that boy is my son!” How can this be? The surgeon is the boy’s mother
NOTE: This ball is part of Trainers Warehouse's exclusive Silver Series Thumballs.
©Trainers Warehouse 2023