Benefits and Limitations of Training Approaches


The training approaches that have been described in this module all have their benefits and limitations. And importantly, they are approaches, not actual training programs. Different trainers will utilize different approaches when they develop training programs, depending on the needs of the organization. Many organizations find that training programs that incorporate multiple perspectives are most effective.

Intercultural / Valuing Differences Approach

  • In general, the intercultural approach serves as a good introduction to diversity and inclusiveness work. It provides people with a common language and common experience for understanding the role of culture in the workplace, and this can stimulate productivity and lessen rifts that arise from cultural differences.
  • Organizations that do not have a great deal of diversity to begin with at the staff or board level might consider intercultural training.
  • Similarly, organizations that have some diversity within the organization but that have only very limited shared experiences in addressing diversity and inclusiveness might also benefit from intercultural training.


Anti-Racism Approach

  • In general, anti-racism work is appropriate for organizations that already have a relatively deep commitment to shifting power dynamics within their organization and that believe such shifts will benefit their mission and programs.
  • Because anti-racism work takes time to integrate into organizational culture, and because it can be difficult to implement, especially if there are key stakeholders who are resistant to changing power relationships internally, this approach generally should only be used by organizations that are willing to engage in a longer process.


Prejudice Reduction Approach

  • Prejudice reduction training is appropriate for organizations that are interested in deep, individual transformation. Individuals who go through successful prejudice reduction training will likely complete the training with a new sense of personal power.
  • This approach is less effective for organizations that are looking to situate their work within a broader systemic context, since the model emphasizes individual relationships and transformation.