Diversity Matters

Use this tool to insure that diversity matters in your effort.


Leadership development expert & consultant, Donna Rae Scheffert helps propel people toward their goals easier, faster, and with more fun. Follow Donna Rae on Twitter or LinkedIn.

Mattering or Marginality

“Marginality is a feeling that we do not belong or matter. People may be marginalized by race, ethnicity, nationality, socioeconomic background or language.

People ask themselves: ‘Are we part of things; do we belong; are we central or marginal? Do we make a difference; do others care about us and make us feel we matter?” (Schlossberg, 1989)

To participate, the people needed to believe that their involvement mattered. Background and experience influence whether people are apt to participate in organizations and institutions, and if they do, experience “marginality or mattering”.

Rosenberg and McCullough (1981), who coined the term “mattering,” assert that this perspective motivates people: “the feeling that others depend on us, are interested in us, are concerned with our fate, or experience us as an ego-extension exercises a powerful influence on our actions.”

Four Elements for Success

1.Attention is the most basic form of mattering, is commanding “the interest or notice of another person”.

2.Importance is the belief that someone else “cares about what we want, think and do, or is concerned with our fate”.

3.Ego-extension refers to the sense that “other people will be proud of our accomplishments or saddened by our failures.

4.Dependence refers to the belief that other people rely on us.

“That our behavior is influenced by our dependence on other people is easily understood…What is…more mysterious is why our actions are equally governed by their dependence on us”.

5.Appreciation refers to the feeling that one’s efforts are recognized and valued by others.

Adapted from Phillips, K. 2008.


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Donna Rae Scheffert

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