Tayo Rockson – Use Your Difference to make a Difference: How to Connect and Communicate in a Cross-Cultural World

March 2, 2023
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Author's Biography

As a polymath in progress, Tayo Rockson is a writer, speaker, consultant, podcaster, poet, professor, co-founder and brand strategist at UYD Management, a strategic consulting firm that empowers organizations to incorporate sustainable diversity and inclusion practices. As the son of a diplomat, Tayo grew up understanding the nuances of multicultural diversity while living on four continents. He leveraged his experiences to establish himself as an authority in communicating effectively across cultures and personal branding. He graced various stages to share his knowledge including TEDx, the prestigious Chautauqua Institution, and the United Nations.
Tayo is the host of As Told by Nomads, a podcast ranked in the top 5 tier of the Top 25 Business Podcasts for Entrepreneurs on Entrepreneur.com. He’s the author of Use Your Difference To Make A Difference and a professor at the prestigious Imperial College Business School as well as Felician University.
In 2020, he launched the national anti-racism campaign called #LetsTalkBias. In 2021, Tayo was named in Remote Weekly’s list of The 100 Most Influential Remote Experts and starred in the award winning movie, IMPACT which is about three people who embark on a personal journey to transform the way they communicate on their quest to impact the world.

Book synopsis

The goal of Use Your Difference to Make a Difference is to strengthen self-awareness, acknowledge biases, connect with others in a meaningful way, and celebrate the differences around us all. Harmful behaviors, whether conscious or unconscious, can lead to social environments that perpetuate—and even intensify—hate and division. Only by acknowledging and understanding these behaviors can we learn to connect—with ourselves, with others, with our world.

Connection is a process that turns differences into mutual understanding. Connection enables us to care for each other and be more empathetic. To be truly connected, we must educate ourselves, choose not to perpetuate systemic bias, and effectively communicate with people with vastly different values, backgrounds, and beliefs. This book is a roadmap for navigating the path towards moral courage, compassion, and accountability. It is within our human nature to protect ourselves and others from harm. Unfortunately, throughout our past and into the present day, we have misidentified groups—whether comprising different religions, ethnicities, language, values, or cultures—as threats to our safety.

Self-preservation is a powerful instinct to ignore when faced with perceived dangers. Only by learning about those not like us can we eliminate our biases, ignore misinformation, and reject false narratives of “otherness.” Slavery, homophobia, bigotry, misogyny—these are not part of our genetic code; they are human creations. Educating ourselves on the lived experiences of others is crucial for leaving a better, more inclusive world to future generations. We all have assumptions of the people around us, whether an immediate neighbor or someone halfway across the world.

Culturally-intelligent communicators realize that not everyone views the world through the same cultural lens, they do not perpetuate biases and stereotypes. Using the methods contained within this book, you will learn to see things from new perspectives, engage those with different worldviews, and leverage your differences to make powerful connections. We are living in an extremely diverse, inter- connected world. Technology allows people to interact and exchange ideas in ways that were not even imagined for almost all human history. The leaders of tomorrow need to understand how to connect with differences in a positive way. This book provides you with the knowledge and practical skills to transcend barriers, bridge cultures, and cultivate strong relationships with anyone, anywhere.

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Tayo Rockson – Use Your Difference to make a Difference: How to Connect and Communicate in a Cross-Cultural World