• Chamber expands Diversity, Inclusion efforts with new spring workshop

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    More experts are finding that emotional intelligence is an increasingly important skill for all workers today and in the future – in all industries.

    The ability to recognize and manage your own emotions, as well as those of others, is a vital part in building any relationship.  One way to enhance emotional intelligence is through diversity and inclusion discussions. The Livonia Chamber of Commerce is growing its focus in this area with a new half-day workshop this spring.

    This initiative is an expansion of the Livonia Chamber’s Connecting Cultures to Business program. Held each of the last three years, Connecting Cultures was a fall luncheon featuring panel discussions on how professionals can thrive in a multicultural and multigenerational workplace.

    Thanks to the generous support of Masco Corp., and the expertise of the Michigan Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion, the first Western Wayne Diversity and Inclusion Experience will take place Wednesday, May 1, at the Schoolcraft College VisTaTech Center.

    “It is simple: The more we open our minds, the more markets we will open,” said Dan West, the Livonia Chamber’s president.

    This session will focus on implicit bias, one’s attitudes or stereotypes that affect our understanding, actions, and decisions in an unconscious matter. Recognizing all people have personal experiences that lead to assumptions in our interactions with others, this session is designed to help the audience recognize these thoughts in a nonjudgmental fashion and focus on connecting with people as individuals.

    “This will be a high-level review of the subject in a session which will provide some insight into your biases as well as action items as you seek to honor your diverse colleagues while improving your organization’s bottom line,” said Steve Spreitzer, president and CEO of the Michigan Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion.

    This four-hour program begins at 7:30 a.m. with breakfast and networking, followed by comments from Keith Allman, CEO of Masco Corp, who will discuss why his company finds great value in diversity and inclusion initiatives.

    The implicit bias session will be followed by roundtable discussions and a brainstorm on how to implement inclusion strategies into the workplace.

    “As we strive to improve our interactions in this business community, we believe this will strengthen our potential for economic development” West added. “This is also a chance to reconvene people who bring so much energy to the Western Wayne Business Leadership Banquet in the fall.”

    Table sponsorships and individual seats are now available. For more information, contact the Livonia Chamber at 734.427.2122, visit www.livonia.org, or email tahmouch@livonia.org.

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