Monday, October 11, 2010

Diversity Business Book Uses Storytelling and Personal Anecdotes; Targets Inexperienced Supervisors, Managers

Susan Klopfer, diversity author
News Release
Contact: Susan Klopfer
Group Klopfer~ Mount Pleasant, IA
Cell 505-728-7924 ~
Author Bio:

Diversity Business Book Uses Storytelling and Personal Anecdotes; Targets Inexperienced Supervisors, Managers

A new business book that gives advice on how to manage diversity targets inexperienced supervisors and managers. Profit From Diversity: Getting Along With Others, set for Nov. 15 publication, is geared to business leaders who have little or no training in diversity management, author Susan Klopfer said.

“This is why I emphasize story-telling and include a unique glossary – one with down-to-earth definitions of diversity-related key words,” said Klopfer, who also weaves in personal examples throughout the book’s glossary to “make points relevant” for readers.

“For instance, I share my own story about travelling to Germany and getting off the plane to hear a language I don’t speak, and how the sound of people talking seems amplified. I recount feeling frustrated and even dizzy while trying figure out how to use the phones at the airport. When I found it difficult to follow instructions, even though I was trying to use a German language tourist book and getting a lot of help from Germans, I became silently angry at myself and the situation.

"But then I took a few deep breaths, sat down for a couple of minutes, and recognized I was simply experiencing some ‘culture shock’ – an encounter that anthropologists and other social scientists have written about for many years. After a few minutes, I was okay and in a better mood to figure out the telephone system. Next came learning how to signal taxis!”

Whether a person enters a host culture as a short-time visitor or as an immigrant, culture shock can be a devastating response, Klopfer continues. “Studies show that from 30 percent to 60 percent of expatriates or people who make a permanent move outside of their own country suffer serious culture shock, manifesting as anxiety and stress. Business managers, supervisors and all employees need to understand this kind of information so that we can have empathy and understanding to work better with others in the growing global markets.”

Profit From Diversity: Getting Along With Others, was written for anyone in business who wants to learn more about using diversity successfully to grow their company, including personnel, marketing, management, supervision − but also has important messages for educators, ministers, health and mental health professionals, lawyers and students, as well as anyone else who is interested in the world around them, Klopfer states.

The first part of the Iowa author’s book revolves around stories of four different people who work in business organizations and are confronted with diversity issues involving ethnic differences, gender discrimination, empowerment and change management.

“I learned about what real people were going through, while interviewing them at their businesses, as part of my research. Through their true accounts, readers will learn more about what it feels like to be the ‘different’ person at work, for instance the person who comes to this country from an Island culture and goes to work in a small town where she is asked to prepare a ‘special dinner’ every year so her co-workers can learn more about her culture.”

The problem with this particular practice, Klopfer explains, is “while it seems like a friendly-enough gesture, everyone focuses on this employee’s ethnic differences, which actually keeps her at a distance, making it harder for her to become a part of the team and contribute her unique talents to the team.”

Managing diversity is tricky. A company executive might believe she is managing diversity simply because the company employs minorities, women or others who are not part of the majority culture, usually white males, Klopfer said.

“There is far more to be done to make and keep a company diverse, and to use this diversity to benefit the company’s bottom line. Real problems arise – and employees representing diversity may leave or do not contribute their unique talents, for many reasons – when diversity is not managed well. White males are sometimes shut out, for instance, and not allowed to make their unique contributions when diversity management is not the focus.”

Klopfer says her book cites important social research, but also has “plenty of interesting true stories and accounts.” It is written “at a high school level with the goal of making it easy to read and interesting for just about anyone."

Profit From Diversity: Getting Along With Others is set for publication by CreateSpace in both e-book and print book formats to coincide with American Education Week that is annually observed beginning in the third week of each November. Susan Klopfer is a Missouri award-winning journalist and author of three civil rights books. She is a former acquisitions and development editor for Prentice Hall.


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