A significant challenge many leaders face when running an engagement is creating a level playing field that lets everyone share their ideas. Culture, language, geographic location, and physical ability are all important factors to consider when designing a Thoughtexchange that is accessible to potential participants.
Fortunately, through a clever combination of software design and expert coaching, we’ve got you covered. Help make diversity and inclusion two pillars of your success by working the following ideas into your next exchange.
Whether you are a growing company with a diverse workforce, a school district in a multicultural community or a leader in any organization where more than one language is spoken, communicating effectively with potential participants means using their first language whenever possible. Even if a potential participant speaks more than one language, having the option to participate and get information in the language they are most comfortable with will go a long way toward helping them feel welcome and valued.
These ideas are especially important when creating exchanges intended to engage your entire organization or community. This is where our facilitation services and, in particular, our Engagement Coaches can help. Once you have your question, introduction, and messaging just right, your Engagement Coach can help you translate that text into any combination of English, Spanish, and French. This usually involves working with staff within your organization so that the translations reflect local dialects and preferences.
Once your exchange is ready to go, you can provide the language options to your participants with unique links for each. Their thoughts will be automatically translated into the appropriate language for other participants. And the thoughts that appear in the Star step will automatically appear in the language of their choice. It’s never been so easy to break down language barriers!
While we pride ourselves on our mobile-friendly interface, we recognize that not everyone wants to load a webpage to participate in an exchange. Luckily for your participants, we’ve built a solution that allows them to participate in one of the most accessible formats possible – texting.
When you enable SMS participation for your exchanges, participants simply text the exchange code to a number generated by the software. From there, they’re directed to our web messaging tool and participation involves simply following the prompts pictured below:
The best part about SMS participation? Participants see messaging and thoughts in the language they have selected in their phone’s operating system. So, they can participate in Afrikaans, Zulu or anything in between.
We take accessibility seriously at Thoughtexchange. We’re doing all we can to make sure people of all physical abilities can share their ideas and feedback.
Our software is equipped with accessibility options that can be enabled by pressing Ctrl-Shift-E. This is also provided as an audible cue for participants with screen readers enabled.
For a complete description of these accessibility options and how the participation process works when they are enabled, please click here.
The only truly successful conversation is one that gives everyone an opportunity to participate. Hopefully, these tips will help include more people and diverse perspectives in your next exchange.
Want to learn more? Drop us a line! We’d love to hear from you.