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Leading to Change Diversity Coffee Connect Programme

“conversational habits are what creates the organisational culture”

Megan Reitz 

Diversity Coffee Connect

Leading to Change Diversity Coffee Connect is seeking to have the conversations that can help improve culture change and generate understanding of all our differences, one conversation at a time. 

Recognising the power of conversation and collectivism, this inclusive initiative encourages people to get together to talk about diversity topics like race, gender and collective experiences of marginalised groups in an effort to learn from one another through meaningful conversations.

By focusing on dialogue and mutual understanding, the platform makes it easier for individuals from diverse backgrounds to have meaningful conversations that can help cultivate diversity initiatives for the greater good. Through its educational resources and support networks, Diversity Coffee Connect brings together people from different communities who are striving for meaningful social change

This initiative hopes to create cultural acceptance while also allowing people to understand differences between each other. The goal of providing thought-provoking dialogue on diversity and inclusion makes it easier for people to learn about topics outside their personal knowledge, enabling understanding across cultures and backgrounds.

By getting everyone involved in these critical conversations, Diversity Coffee Connect is pushing towards positive progress in diversity and inclusion efforts, one gathering at a time.

The purpose of Diversity Coffee Connect is to provide a safe environment to connect with others within health, social work and social care sectors and explore the context of equality, diversity and inclusion together through informal conversation.

How does it work?

Diversity Coffee Connect normally take place on a monthly basis via Microsoft Teams. Each session will have a different theme that looks at various equality, diversity and inclusion topics that align to the monthly Leading to Change equality blog. We would recommend and encourage participants to have a look at the Leading to Change equality blog prior to each session.

To join Diversity Coffee Connect you will need to complete a registration form via Microsoft Teams. Once complete, a Teams meeting link and diary invite will automatically appeared in your inbox/diary.

Each session is around 60 minutes long, with the following format:

  1. The session starts with the host welcoming, introducing the topic for discussion and setting out ground rules to the conversation
  2. The session will be connected to the Diversity Blog series and the author of the latest blog will be invited to share a 10′ summary of their perspective
  3. Participants will then be placed randomly in small groups and put into a breakout room where they can start their conversations, for around 30 minutes.
    • The chat function will provide a number of questions for participants to help start the conversation
    • The host will be available at all times to provide support
    • Participants are free to leave/end the conversation at any time.
  4. After 30 minutes, all participants will return to the main room and share any key reflections arising from their conversations
  5. A link to the Feedback form will be posted in the chat by the host at the end of each session to encourage participants feedback on how we can improve sessions going forward.

For information about upcoming sessions and topics, visit the Leading to Change Events page:

How do I get the best from the conversation?

Even though we encourage the Diversity Coffee Connect conversation to be informal, it is important to us that you feel supported and psychologically safe to participate. Therefore, we have set out the following principles to provide safeguards and guidelines on how to have an open and safe conversation within Diversity Coffee Connect.

The host of the session will take you through these principles and answer any questions at the beginning of each session. By following these principles, the interactions should be energising and empowering but most of all feel safe.

Principles for an open conversation

  1. Be kind to each other in all of our interactions
  2. Be curious about what we are each thinking and feeling – pay attention to how we are talking and listening to each other
  3. Listen with empathy and be open to each other’s perspectives
  4. Be aware that our perception may well be our reality – and that it may differ to others’ perceptions
  5. Respect the confidentiality of the conversation as agreed within the group
  6. You can leave and end the conversation at any time.

Feedback and further support

We understand that this subject has the potential to raise feelings or experiences that in some cases may make you feel uncomfortable and anxious. 

The host will be present at all times during the session, if there are any issues/concerns that require immediate attention please raise it with him/her at any time. Alternately you can get in touch with the Leading to Change team at leadingtochangeconfidential@nes.scot.nhs.uk subject “Diversity Coffee Connect”.

If the issues relate to local employee relations (e.g., grievance, disciplinary, whistleblowing) please contact your organisation’s Human Resources team.

The National Wellbeing Hub is also a great resource for any wellbeing related support.

Remember, your participation in Diversity Coffee Connect is completely voluntary and you can end the conversation at any point if you feel uncomfortable.

At the end of each session, we would ask you to complete a feedback questionnaire which will allow us to find out how the Diversity Coffee Connect conversation went and what improvements we might make for future sessions.

Where can I find out more about Equality, Diversity and Inclusion?

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Explore your potential with the Leading to Change app
Wellbeing Hub logo
Visit the National Wellbeing Hub for resources on how to stay well
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