When interacting across differences – cultural, personal or positional – don’t despair if you blunder. Don’t be hard on yourself. And, above all, don’t give up. Flubs and blunders are a natural consequence of the learning process.

As appropriate, make amends and keep moving forward. No, I’m not suggesting that you tell the person they misunderstood what you said. That would likely add insult to injury. Instead, try saying something like, “I would like to talk through what occurred between us, with the hope of leaning from what happened and repairing our relationship. Would you be willing to talk with me?”

Or, ask a trusted ally, one who has high emotional intelligence, to coach you and help you find a respectful way of communicating your message. Words and tone matter, especially when communicating across differences with the goal of fostering Inclusion.

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