Body Language Expert | Motivational Speaker | Keynote Speaker | Communication Expert | Presentation & Speaking Skills Trainer | One-On-One Coach

Deciphering the Difference:
Insights into Diversity -- 2 Hour Session

Diversity training teaches us to recognize, understand, and accept the differences in opinions, beliefs, and values each of us brings to the workplace. The key to benefiting from diversity training is in finding ways to learn from those differences and grow beyond our individual boundaries. Gender, race and cultural experts tell us that 85% of the people, new to entering the workforce in the year 2000, will be females, Asians, African Americans or Hispanics. Only 15% of new additions will be white males. Organizations are being compelled to embrace diversity by: competition for talent, changing markets, changes in the competitive environment, and a diverse customer base.

This program is oriented toward fostering respect for coworkers as individuals, rather than toward treatment of coworkers as members of a category. If people in your workplace know they should be accepting of differences, but it's just not happening, this workshop can create the insights needed for changes in behavior. It answers questions such as: 

"What are the differences that create problems?"
"Why do we often automatically see differences in others as wrong?"
"How can I understand and accept others?"
"What can I do to treat people with equal power, influence and be treated with equality?"

In Deciphering the Differences, you'll learn about the power differential--the effect of value differences, subtle variations in everything from smiles and eye contact to space and touching, and the new rules of business etiquette for old standards like handshakes and greetings and pats on the back. Deciphering the Differences is an eye-opening, ear-widening, "Aha!" experience.


  • Understand the difference between perception and behavior.

  • Develop awareness of how verbal and nonverbal communication is interpreted by members of different genders, races, and cultures.

  • Define and understand traditional gender-, race- and culture-based differences.

  • Develop awareness of business etiquette.

  • Identify and understand the effects of differences in nonverbal communication.

  • Practice methods for effectively presenting information to those of different races, genders, and cultures.

  • Practice methods for effective conflict management.

Session Format: 

A 90-minute to two-hour, experiential learning session using current resources, exercises and humor.

Deciphering the DifferencesContent Outline:

I.       Introduction  

  • First Impressions - Group Activities: "When I First Met You" and "Care Values."

  • What you can take away to use from this program

  • What kind of issues might arise for you in this program

  • The Business Etiquette of Greetings - Group Activity: "Kiss, Bow, and Shake Hands"

II.      Values, Perception, and Behavior

Group Activity: "What's Going On?"

  • Behavior vs. Perception

  • How our values effect our perceptions and behaviors

III.     The Big Picture

  • The Power Differential

  • The Way We Were Raised

  • Gamesmanship

IV.     "Can We Talk"...As Equals?

Group Activity: "Talking Circles"

  • Listening mode differences

  • Speaking mode differences

  • Jokes and Innuendo

Group Activity: "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood"

V.      The Hidden Message: Nonverbal, Power-based Differences

Group Activity: "Eye Contact"

Group Activity: "Smile Territory"

Paired Activity: "The Big Three--Space, Windows, and Tension/Relaxation"

VI.    Mother, May I?

Differences in giving and receiving instructions, task assignments, criticism, and praise.

Conflict Resolution

Paired Activity: "The E.R.A.S.E.R. Method

Paired Activity: "Communicating What You Want to Have Happen"

Paired Activity: "Self/Partner Observation"

Deciphering the Differences in Teaching Methodologies:

Interactive Learning:

Participants are encouraged to contribute their views and perspectives, giving examples of when they observed these differences in themselves and others, and how it impacts their image, self-esteem, working relationships, office politics, and their lives in general.


Each segment of the program actively engages the participants in reflection and practice.


Data based on research, personal experiences, and work-related examples are employed to ensure understanding and applicability.

Visual Aids:

Overheads, flip charts, and participant activities.

Written Aids:

"First Impressions," "Self/Partner Observation," "The E.R.A.S.E.R. Method," and various articles on sexual harassment.

For more information about her programs, or to book Patti Wood for a program, either call 404-315-7397, email:, or use our booking form.