4 inclusion tips learned from Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz

In the comfort of your own home and around your close friends and family, you become accustomed to your own traditions and practices. It may be taking your shoes off before entering a room or praying before a meal, but whatever it is, it becomes part of who you are and what you know.

By just taking one step away from your close friends and family, you will realize that what may seem normal for you, may be something very different to another person. And, different thoughts can be helpful - especially when trying to work together with others like, for instance, at work. How? Let's explore some tips we can learn from Dorothy during her journey in The Wizard of Oz that can help us think more inclusively while at work...

1. Listen to those who are different than you.
The Munchkins helped Dorothy learn about the Wizard, the man who could get her back home. Without their thoughts, she wouldn't have taken the path she did throughout the movie.

2. Have the ability to trust others.
The Scarecrow was convinced that he didn't have a brain. Yet, he was joining Dorothy on his own on her mission to see the Wizard - something that would require someone with a brain to do. Dorothy questioned this, but took his word. Why? To build a trusting relationship.

Trusting what others think and having the ability to learn more will help you build relationships and interact effectively with people who are different than yourself.

3. Be respectful of stereotypical differences.
The Tin Man was groaning for more than a year before Dorothy ran into him and oiled his rusty body so he can move again. Without her help, he would still be stuck as nobody else thought to help out a Tin Man.

Leave stereotypical judgments aside and have the compassion to help others. Your small act of kindness can help someone else in a very big way.

4. Don't be a coward.
When the Lion tried to bite Toto, it was discovered that he was only doing so because he was afraid of the unknown.

If you want to work well with others and be successful, roaring because you're scared of something different won't get you far. Be open-minded and friendly. Have the courage to share your story with others and listen to theirs.

It was through Dorothy's interactions with a very diverse set of friends that she was able to make it back home. It wasn't what she thought, it was how she thought about things that helped her along the way.

There are many traditions in the United States that workplaces are naturally made up of many different perspectives on just about everything. Use it to your advantage. Although we are all used to our own traditions and practices, employees with different thoughts can help reshape how we think for the better.

Jessica Speziale

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