Seeing Underneath the Tip of the Iceberg

One memorable visual exercise during Mick Morman’s Diversity Champions training in 2018 likened people’s perceptions of others to an iceberg. “With an iceberg, you only see what’s above the surface,” says Mick, an assistant manager at Toyota Auto Body Corp. (TABC) who grew up in a small Indiana town lacking diversity. “The same is true of people. You see a person’s skin color and how they dress, but you don’t see what’s under the surface. You can discover commonality with another person if you take the time to get to know them.”

Upon becoming a Diversity Champion, Mick set out to foster greater inclusivity among TABC’s 400 team members. He found that while TABC does not lack for diversity — 40 nationalities and 29 languages are represented — team members tended to socialize only with others like them.

Mick began interviewing two randomly selected team members each month to learn about their interests, beliefs, inspirations and values, and he published their profiles on one of Toyota’s communication channels for all team members to read. “I have built better relationships with the people I have interviewed, and I hope that others will see commonality and start a relationship with them as well.”

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