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Bio

Diversity and Inclusion is a full-time focus, not just one topic among many for Lenora Billings-Harris. Whether through keynotes, workshops, or organizational consulting, Lenora partners with clients to help them build effective relationships that leverage diversity to increase inclusion, employee engagement, customer satisfaction and bottom-line results.

Billings-Harris is a recognized authority. She has been included as one of the 100 Global Thought Leaders on Diversity and Inclusion by The Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM), and was named by Diversity Woman Magazine as one of the twenty top influential diversity leaders in the US. Her award-winning diversity leadership research is recognized in academic journals internationally. Lenora recently keynoted at the Inclusion Conferences in Cape Town, South Africa and in Tel Aviv, Israel to share best practices with leaders within business, government, education and NGO communities.

Billings-Harris co-authored TRAILBLAZERS: How Top Business Leaders are Accelerating Results through Inclusion and Diversity, and is the author of The Diversity Advantage: A Guide to Making Diversity Work, 3rd Ed. She serves on the adjunct faculty of the business schools of Averett University and the University of North Carolina-Greensboro.

Lenora is a Certified Speaking Professional (CSP), a past president of the National Speakers Association, and was the 2014-2015 president of the Global Speakers Federation. In 2016 she was the Cavett Award recipient, the highest honor bestowed upon professional speakers in the USA.

Before launching her business in 1986, she held management positions at two Fortune 100 companies, and managed executive development seminars for the Graduate School of Business, University of Michigan.

Lenora’s Programs

Maximize the Power of Inclusion and Engagement by Uncovering the Impact of Unconscious Bias

Bias has been misunderstood for years. Due to recent research in neuro-science, we now know that everyone as bias, and our daily decisions are impacted by them without our awareness. The good news is once we become aware of the impact of our biases, we can choose to mitigate those that produce negative outcomes.

Join internationally recognized author and consultant, Lenora Billings-Harris, CSP to examine and reframe your approach to diversity, inclusion, and employee engagement. You will explore what bias is, why it is necessary in our lives, and how unconscious bias impacts productivity, team performance and bottom-line business results. Lenora will reveal the interdependence of these concepts and the missing components needed to create an environment of high performance. This content-rich and results-focused presentation will help you identify the key skills that accelerate positive results in our fast paced multicultural world. Using an evidence-based approach, Lenora will provide practical yet cutting edge insights that can be immediately applied.

Unconscious Bias: The Wizard of OZ Perspective

Lenora uses the characters of the Wizard of Oz as a metaphor to help you understand how you can use your brain, heart and courage to accelerate positive results with diverse teams in today’s multi-cultural world. This unique, fun, yet thought-provoking message will inspire you to embrace the strengths you have and to value the strengths of others to increase your organization’s options for higher performance in all areas of talent management. By discovering how and why bias is normal, you will uncover strategies to go beyond stereotypes to create and sustain an environment that supports high productivity through intentional inclusion. Lenora uses OZ characters, and music from The Wizard of Oz and The Wiz to create an entertaining and impactful learning environment.

As a result of attending this session, you will:

• Understand the brain science and research results that explains the impact of bias and unconscious bias
• Explore results focused ways to learn about and interact effectively with people different from yourself
• Examine tactics to engage others through cultural curiosity instead of stereotypical judgments and cultural criticism
• Recognize the key role of leaders as sponsors, allies and mentors that strengthen performance results in all areas of talent management.
S.T.O.P. – How to Diminish Cultural Collisions with Effective Feedback

There are barriers, booby traps, and blocked roadways on our journey toward achieving cultural competence. What do you say to the co-worker who always wants to touch your locks or braids? How do you tell your manager to stop giving you a high-five every time he agrees with something you say? How do you get your Baby Boomer colleague to stop reminding you that you are too young to know…?

The biggest barrier to giving feedback in these situations is the fear most people have when it comes to speaking up in a respectful way to encourage others to stop insensitive or inappropriate behavior. One of the major reasons people do not speak up more often when they experience inappropriate behav­ior is because they do not know how to speak up when they have to interact with the offender on a regular basis. If the offender is your manager speaking up may seem too dangerous. If the offender is a colleague in your department, well it is easier just to be silent. Or is it? That silence perpetuates inappro­priate behavior.

Lenora’s four-step process called S.T.O.P. for giving feedback is easy to understand and is produces successfully results. Join her for this highly interactive session to learn a technique that can be used at work, home, and even with children.

Turning Barriers into Bridges: Reversing the Impact of Unconscious Bias on Talent Management

In today’s world culture is much more than ethnicity and gender. It is all the ways we are similar and different. As the dramatic shift to a highly diverse workplace continues, organizations know they must help employees understand, accept, and capitalize on differences as well as similarities. They know the cultural backgrounds and experiences of diverse teams and clients can enrich the organization, making it more innovative and competitive, yet the institution’s ability to manage these organizational changes can strengthen or impede results.

Enhancing your inclusion and engagement skills enables you to work more effectively internally and in the community. This highly interactive, non-judgmental and fun session provides an opportunity for participants to discover how and why unconscious bias impacts talent management and other business decisions; and then how to minimize its effects in order to increase positive bottom-line results.

Learning Objectives:

As a result of attending this session, participants will be able to:

• Improve their awareness of the impact of their behavior on others
• Understand the neuroscience related to how the mind works
• Limit the influence of stereotypes and bias on their actions
• Identify the four Cornerstones of Cultural Competence
• Identify effective engagement strategies for individuals, teams and organizational processes