5 Ways to Create Meaningful Conversations With People of Color

Course: According to a recent study, people of color in the U.S. are expected to fit into narrow racial boxes that are only slightly bigger than the size of a Snapchat story. Meaning, if you’re not African American, Indian Asian Pacific Islander, or white—there is not much room for you in this world.

This lack of space breeds self-consciousness and leaves us feeling like there is no way to crack the code and make these conversations meaningful for other people of color. After all, our boxes have been so thoroughly mapped out that there’s no hope left for us—you can see it from here!
But before we despair at our bleak future, let’s explore why this is happening in our world and how we can begin to create meaningful conversations with people of color on a personal level so that we don’t just stop talking to them but also broaden their horizons and give them new ways of seeing things. The first step towards solving a problem is recognizing it!

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5 Ways to Create Meaningful Conversations With People of Color

Course: BusinessHAB.com‍It can be challenging to connect with people of color — whether they’re family members, friends, co-workers or simply people you encounter on a regular basis. Understanding this can be particularly challenging for someone who is not of color. White people often lack the necessary cultural and visual awareness to effectively communicate with people of color. This creates an immense barrier in the communication process, making it difficult for many white people to effectively engage with people of color on a personal level. However we can all make small changes to our behavior and create more meaningful interactions. The following 5 tips will help any white person create more meaningful conversations with other races.

Be mindful of your body language

Many white people communicate unintentionally with people of color through their body language. You may not know it, but how you carry yourself speaks louder than what you say. When you are talking to a person of color, it is important to be mindful of your physical actions. If you frequently make physical movements that are racially insensitive, you may be unintentionally communicating messages that are hurtful to people of color. This can include excessive eye contact, fidgeting, leaning too close to a person of color, or other actions that are considered racially insensitive. It is also important to be mindful of your physical actions when someone of color is in the room. People of color may feel uncomfortable when they see white people behaving in a racially insensitive manner. This can make it difficult for both people of color and white people to communicate.

Ask open-ended questions

When you are talking with people of color, be sure to ask open-ended questions. Open-ended questions are those that can lead to further discussions, rather than “yes/no” or “good/bad” questions. This can help create a space for people of color to feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and experiences. It can also allow people of color to share aspects of their identity with you that you may not have been aware of otherwise.

Don’t make assumptions

If you are looking to make a connection with a person of color, do not make assumptions about his or her background or cultural experiences. This can lead to assumptions being made about you by the person of color.

Demonstrate empathy

When you are talking with people of color, it is very important to demonstrate empathy. This can help open up a space for a more authentic exchange of ideas between both you and the person of color. When you are talking with people of color, it is important to use words that demonstrate empathy. This can include phrases like “I can see why you feel that way,” or “I understand how that would make you feel.” By using language that demonstrates empathy, you can help create a more authentic space between both of you during the conversation.

Provide feedback to help change behaviour

When talking with people of color, it is important to provide feedback. Feedback is essentially information about the person of color that can help others better understand him or her. This can take many forms, including offering advice about changing behaviours or providing information about past experiences. When you are talking with people of color, it is important to provide feedback about the language you use. This can be done by offering phrases that are more inclusive or respectful. When you are providing feedback to help others change behaviour, make sure you are doing so in a non-judgemental manner. If you are providing feedback that is judgemental, you may be unintentionally limiting the other person’s ability to change his or her behaviour.


Simply put, how you communicate with others is the most significant factor in how they respond to you. While it is important to know various forms of cultural etiquette, it is also important to understand the person of color you are speaking with. Being mindful of your body language, asking open-ended questions, not making assumptions, demonstrating empathy, and providing feedback to help change behaviour is a simple yet impactful way to create meaningful conversations with people of color. It is important to remember that people of color may have different experiences and backgrounds than you do. This can lead to an unequal exchange of information during conversations. It can be challenging to create conversations with people of color that are meaningful. The key is to be mindful of your body language, ask open-ended questions, not make assumptions, demonstrate empathy, and provide feedback to help change behaviour.

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