Award-winning Diversity Strategist and author who helps organizations make diversity & mitigating unconscious bias a competitive advantage.
Lenora Billings-Harris, CSP (Certified Speaking Professional) is a CPAE (Council of Peers Award of Excellence) Hall of Fame speaker and an internationally recognized authority in the areas of inclusion, diversity and bias. She has been included as one of the 100 Global Thought Leaders on Diversity and Inclusion by The Society of Human Resource Management 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. Additionally, she serves on the Advisory Council of the Nido Qubein School of Communication, High Point University, as well as being on the adjunct business faculty of two other universities.
Diversity, inclusion and disrupting bias is a full-time focus for Lenora. She partners with clients to help them leverage their diversity of thought which impacts employee engagement and retention, customer asquisiton and sales, community and corporate relations. Her powerful yet engaging style inspires audience members to take personal and organizational actions that disrupt bias and accelerate bottom-line business results.
She has presented to audiences in over 41 countries and six continents, including such places as Dubai, Isreal and South Africa and Malaysia.
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. Most recently, she was the cover story for Inclusion Magazine, 2019 winter edition.
In addition to management positions held with two Fortune 100 companies plus the Business School at The University of Michigan, Billings-Harris has held leadership positions with several non-profit organizations. She is a past president of Win-Win Resolutions with a mission to reduce bullying, violence and prejudice in schools and communities, and was a founding charter member of the Maricopa County Black Chamber of Commerce. She is a past president of the National Speakers Association, and past president of the Global Speakers Federation. In 2016 she was the Cavett Award recipient, the highest honor bestowed upon professional speakers in the USA. In 2018 she was inducted into the Speaker Hall of Fame.
S.T.O.P – 4 Steps to Courageous Conversations
There are barriers, booby traps, and blocked roadways on our journey toward achieving cultural competence in the workplace.
Lenora’s four-step process called S.T.O.P.(TM) is easy to understand and produces amazing results within the sensitive aspects of employee engagement. You will learn a specific and easy to implement feedback technique that can reduce complaints to supervisors by empowering employees to resolve these issues directly and respectfully.
What do you say to the co-worker who always wants to touch your locks or braids? How do you get your Baby Boomer colleague to stop reminding you that you are too young to know…? How do you respond to comments like, “So when are you going to retire already?!” When it comes to speaking up in a respectful way to encourage others to stop insensitive or inappropriate behavior, most people are afraid they will make matters worse. If the offender is a manager, speaking up may seem too dangerous. If the offender is a colleague, well it is easier just to be silent. Or is it?
Join author Lenora Billings-Harris in this highly interactive session (handouts included) to …
- Develop a key skill set that enhances your cultural competence by engaging successful in courageous conversations on sensitive issues.
- Explore a process that empowers employees to take responsibility for their own actions and outcomes.
- Identify the how to’s to implement the S.T.O.P.(TM) technique within your organization thus reducing HR- related complaints and increasing positive employee engagement.
From Adversaries To Allies: Gender Communication In The Workplace
Men and women do communicate differently. Learn easy techniques to bridge the gender divide. This fun yet informative presentation will help you improve your communication skills with the opposite gender.
Recognizing gender communication conflicts is not enough, you need to determine the best solutions too. During this session, explore ways to say what you mean in a way the other gender will hear and understand. This insightful session will help both men and women learn how to express themselves in a way that increases productivity, reduces conflict and enhances collaboration between the sexes. By practicing techniques that recognize communication differences without value judging, you will discover your own hidden communication strengths.
As a result of applying the principles and skills presented, you will be able to:
- Identify the 3 major male and female communication tendencies
- Explore the 5 habits that hinder effective communication
- Manage gender conflict more effectively.
- Apply the S.T.O.P.™ technique to overcome communication collisions
The focus of this session is on communication solutions not gender bashing, thus both men and women can enhance their effectiveness. By applying a few simple rules each will be able to refrain from trying to change the other and focus on how best to utilize the strengths of the other gender.
Beyond the Vision: Ubuntu Style
Lenora uses personal stories, metaphors, audience interaction and quotes from Martin Luther King, Jr., Nelson Mendela and others to help you discover how you can use your abilities and courage to make a real and sustainable difference in today’s multicultural world. This uplifting, yet thought-provoking message will inspire you to embrace the unique gifts you have and to value the gifts of others to increase your options for positive change as an agent of One Dream.
By realizing the power to make a difference is within each individual, you will discover ways to go beyond stereotypes and bias to create an environment that supports high success while celebrating differences.
As a result of attending this session, participants will be able to:
- use their knowledge and skills to determine ways to learn about and interact effectively with people different then themselves
- engage their heart and soul sense to connect to others with compassion instead of stereotypical judgments
- use their courage to lead sustainable changes in positive ways.
Turning Barriers Into Bridges
This highly interactive, non-judgmental and fun program provides an opportunity for participants to discover their own level of knowledge and understanding of people different from themselves, and then apply the principles of inclusion to build relationships. By exploring the biases of our society’s “isms”, such as racism, sexism, ableism, and ageism, as well as homophobia and other prejudices that impede productivity in the classroom and the workplace, participants will be better equipped to turn barriers into bridges and focus on performance when they return to their organization.
As a result of attending this session, participants will be able to:
- Improve their awareness of the impact of their behavior on others
- Increase acceptance and value differences
- Limit the influence of stereotypes on their personal actions
- Identify the four cornerstones of diversity development
- Identify effective inclusion strategies for individuals and organizations
The Diversity Advantage: A Wizard of Oz Perspective
Lenora uses the characters of the Wizard of Oz as a metaphor to create a learning environment that will help you discover how you can use your brain, heart and courage to make a real difference in today’s multi-cultural environment. By exploring Diversity and Inclusion while you journey down the Yellow Brick Road you examine diversity as an advantage. This fun, yet thought-provoking session will inspire you to embrace the strengths you have and to value the unique strengths of your colleagues to increase your organization’s options for multicultural success. By realizing the power to make a difference is within each individual, you will discover ways to go beyond stereotypes and bias to create and sustain an environment of inclusion that supports high productivity while honoring differences.
Although Lenora uses the characters and music from The Wizard of Oz and The Wiz to create an entertaining learning environment, the content is serious and easy to apply in the real world.
As a result of attending this session, participants will be able to:
- Use their knowledge and focused learning skills to determine ways to learn about and interact effectively with people different from themselves
- Use their understanding to improve authentic connections with others instead of stereotypical alignments
- Use their courage to say and do the right thing, at the right time, in the right way for the best results
Trailblazers: How Top Business Leaders Are Accelerating Results Through Inclusion And Diversity
Are you ready to go beyond diversity awareness? Is your organization ready to effectively create and sustain an environment that engages all team members so they can achieve their highest potential without regard to their differences? Are your leaders ready to learn and then implement Transformational Diversity Management Principles™ (TD&IP) that will support your organization’s vision, mission, and business strategy? If so, this program is for you.
Based on Lenora’s latest book, this presentation offers participants an opportunity to learn the best practices of trailblazing companies such as IBM, the Coca Cola Company, Verizon, Sodexo, American Airlines, Citi, Ford and many more, as well as see the surprising results of Lenora’s D & I research conducted through The Bryan School of Business and Economics at the University Of North Carolina-Greensboro.
As a result of applying the principles and practices presented, you will be able to:
- Focus on ways to engage middle management in D&I initiatives
- Effectively and fully utilize Employee Resource Groups
- Identify the critical skills needed for HR professionals to move D & I forward
- Examine the TD&IP that accelerate diversity’s impact on business results
Lenora is absolutely the FINEST speaker and Diversity Expert I have had the pleasure to work with. Her keynotes and training sessions are captivating, informative and right on target every time. She delivers a message that stays with the audience and brings about change in the individual and the organization. She is of the highest integrity in everything she does. A WORLD CLASS person
– HUMAN RESOURCE CONSULTANT/RECRUITING/TRAINING FOR ALL SIZE ORGANIZATIONS, The HR Group, Inc.
Lenora provided an excellent workshop for our YWCA staff around issues of workplace communication and diversity. She is skillful in engaging participants, extremely knowledgeable, and very effective. I highly recommend Lenora as an effective team builder. Whether your organization is facing particular challenges or just needs help moving to the next level, Lenora can help make it happen.
– Executive Director at YWCA of Greensboro, YWCA of Greensboro
Lenora recently spoke at the NCAIS Culturally Competent Schools Conference and she was terrific…great topics and engaging discussions. Even though her session times were in the afternoon, she came early, stayed with us throughout the day and interacted with conference participants. The next time you are looking for an outstanding diversity and inclusion keynote or workshop speaker , I would recommend you consider Lenora. She is a former trustee of Greensboro Day School, and has been a diversity consultant for independent schools, as well as all types of corporate and non-profit organizations. She really understands what it takes to make diversity and inclusion work on our campuses.
– Executive Director, North Carolina Association of Independent Schools
Lenora is an excellent, engaging speaker and a trusted expert in diversity. Lenora is extremely effective both in the classroom and consulting one-on-one. I have had great experiences working with Lenora and view her as a valued partner.
– Human Resources Consultant,
Lenora Billings-Harris is a dynamic and engaging Diversity and Inclusion practitioner that I had the pleasure of observing in action during her facilitation of Turning Barriers Into Bridges: Building World Class Teams. Lenora is a thought leader in the areas of D&I and team dynamics as well as a subject matter expert on the DiSC behavioral model.
I found my time with Lenora to be a valuable professional and personal experience due to the introspective activities and debrief sessions. Lenora’s classes are an open forum for constructive discussion; participants walk away feeling enlightened and empowered to affect positive changes around building relationships with team members to meet the organization’s common goals.
I look forward to our continued partnership!
– Learning, Performance Improvement and D&I Professional,
Lenora’s speaking style is gentle and effective. Her clarity of message is as strong as I have ever heard on any topic. My colleagues are still talking about her weeks after her presentation. I strongly recommend her as a speaker and suggest that anyone interested in diversity pick up her books, articles, and/or visit her website as well.
– President, Muskegon Community College
- VIDEO Lenora’s Preview Video
- VIDEO Diversity Speaker – Lenora’s Preview Video
- VIDEO Trailblazers
- VIDEO Lenora Billings-Harris- Diverse and Inclusive Invocation
- VIDEO London RAVES About Lenora
- VIDEO Ubuntu Defined
- VIDEO Change and Inclusion
- VIDEO Diversity+Speaker+ +Lenora+at+West+Point
- PHOTO Lenora Engages The Audience
- PHOTO Martin Luther King Day Celebration
- PHOTO Unconscious Bias: The Wizard of OZ Principle
- PHOTO Lenora talks
- PHOTO Ubuntu
- JACKET Trailblazers
- JACKET The Diversity Advantage
- JACKET Discover Your Inclusivity Quotient™ DVD
- JACKET Mem-cards for the Diversity Advantage
- JACKET Discovering Diversity Profile: Exploring Differences in the Workplace
- DOC OneSheet – Bureau Friendly
- DOC Clients Rave About Lenora
- DOC Diversity Woman Magazine
- DOC S.T.O.P – Technique For Reducing Culture Collisions