Carol Barkes, CPM, MBA, is a conflict resolution expert, mediator, national speaker, educator and bestselling author who uniquely applies neuroscience to the fields of conflict resolution and negotiations. Her expert perspective is always fresh and relevant.
about Teaching Children to Be More Inclusive
1) Our brains have evolved to be very socially oriented. They also look to naturally locate “people like us” and be suspicious of people who are different.
2) To counterbalance our natural tendencies to align with our “in-groups” or people like us, learn to find commonalities with people. It could be your gender, the school you go to, activities you both enjoy, the community in which you live, the faith that you practice. Anytime you can find ways you are similar to someone else, it helps your brain filter these people into your “in-groups.”
3) Seek to create opportunities for your children to interact with people different from yourselves. The more you do so, the more you will realize people are a lot like you. This is one reason I think people should travel as much as possible; they learn people are usually kind, care about their families—just like “we” do and have a lot in common with “us.”
4) Be curious. The more you ask questions, the more you can learn about the issues other people face. You might be surprised at what you hear and it could give you perspective you never realized. It could also help you understand many people share similar challenges. Either way, this can create compassion and empathy.
5) If you have never been part of a group that has been suppressed, you will never really have a clear understanding of how this impacts day to day living for that population. Help your children understand this, too, so they can develop a broader way of thinking.
Interviews: Carol Barkes
Carol Barkes, CPM, MBA, is a trend-setting mediator, business executive and educator specializing in the use of neuroscience to improve business performance, interpersonal communications, negotiation and conflict resolution processes for optimally successful results. She is also a speaker, educator, and author of the bestselling book: Success Breakthroughs: Leading Entrepreneurs and Professionals Reveal Their Secrets for Breaking Through to Success.
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