You have a team made up of people from a variety of cultures – Canadian, African, Jamaican, Irish, Indigenous, genders – male, female, ages – millennials to traditionalists and people with disabilities. All you want is for everyone to get along. After all, you are proud of having a diverse organization providing opportunities for the best person to fill the job ensuring different thinking, behaviour and emotional styles.
First, let’s define diversity! There are numerous definitions – one is “the condition of having or being composed of differing elements” according to the Miriam Webster Dictionary. And that can create the best team possible!
The key here is “composed of differing elements”. A team composed of different individuals can be the most valuable team for any organization. Here’s why:
- Different elements bring differing thoughts
- Different elements bring a variety of experiences
- Different elements mean many more strategic approaches
If you want to increase the productivity of your team begin to bring diversity into the mix:
- Diverse cultures bring varying experiences and approaches to every project
- Men and women think differently – women may be more expressive with their emotions while men only understand verbalized emotions and yet they are complementary
- Millennials love flexibility and bring a desire for change while Baby Boomers bring experience and a focus on results
- Those with varying degrees of disabilities help everyone become clear, accepting and more thoughtful about how we accept and treat others
Tina, the Executive Director, does exactly what every leader does. She hires the best person for the position, yet at the same time she is very conscious of creating a diverse team. She has hired people from a variety of cultures, men and women of various ages and experiences as well as those with intellectual disabilities. Is it easy – never!
She works with her team providing:
- Regular meetings to discuss the challenges of working with a diverse group
- Celebrations of diverse cultures
- Sharing of tasty morsels from the various cultures
- Diversity, understanding intellectual and other disabilities and generational training for all staff
- Communication training to help each staff person be more effective
It’s your choice – you can continue to do what you have always done. And, you can have the same good success you have always had. Or, you can improve your success ratio by creating an even greater diverse team. Try it and see growth – imagine your bottom-line skyrocketing because of the diverse approaches to problem solving. It just may be worth it, like it was for Tina who found her organization blossomed when she ensured a diverse staff.
Recently two First Nation communities lost their water plants. The public rose to their support – churches, organizations and individuals provided drinking water and distilled water needed for people to sustain their lives.
When disasters happen we step up! Whether it is young or old, wealthy or poverty stricken, people do what they can to support each other. Isn’t it wonderful how we go the extra mile!
What is it you have done lately to “step up” and help someone – buy someone a coffee, a meal, make a donation of cash, clothing or food to organizations that support those in need? Sometimes it can be as simple as a smile, a kind word or even supporting someone to achieve a higher level of personal success.
Share your experience with us and let us know how it feels to support others.
Just email me at email@example.com.