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The adaptive mindset bridges differences and diversity using a complex set of diversity frameworks and an enhanced set of adaptive practices for navigating diversity. Adaptation is the highest ethnorelative mindset according to the research of Mitchell R. Hammer. Based on the psychometrics of the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI), a mindset of adaptation is found in a small percentage of the population. The adaptation orientation to diversity requires cognitive frame shifting, or shifting one’s perspective of diversity. Adaptation means behavioral code shifting, or changing behavior in authentic and appropriate ways.

The skills demonstrated from an ethnorelative adaptive mindset are empathy, flexibility, and social adaptability. Adaptive persons manage interactions. They have risk-taking and problem-solving skills. They are able to adapt or adjust communication styles and patterns.

An adaptive mindset person may say “To solve this dispute, I will change my approach” or “I need to change my behavior to account for differences in others”. They may state “It is fair if I try to meet them half way” or “I can maintain my values but still behave in diverse and appropriate ways”.

Have you ever met a person who handles diverse others and diversity from an adaptive mindset? If you have, please reflect on a specific example when this person addressed and successfully navigated differences or diversity. Please share your example in the comments and then respond to the examples of three to four other learners.

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Understanding Diversity and Inclusion

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