Many leaders try to ignore workplace diversity because they think it means losing power or giving up control to unfamiliar people. What often gets overlooked is that diversity means being able to use the various talents and abilities of your employees and celebrating their ideas and perspectives. Here are some ideas to help you stop ignoring diversity:
- People may seem different but we all care about our children and want to build a satisfying career.
- Practice self-awareness by understanding that other people may not have the motives you attribute to them.
- Different ideas and perspectives add to the knowledge pool in your organization and give you more options.
- Other people may know things you don't and help you become wiser.
- One person can only handle so much. Challenges become less daunting when you have many people with many different brains and talents backing you up.
- In general, people aren't out to get you or take your job, so its OK to see them as allies.
- You seem different to others but they're willing to work with you.
- Diversity isn't threatening unless you decide it is.
- Listen to people and enjoy learning about them and how they would like to help your organization succeed.
It's easy to think that diversity is some annoyance that forces you to do things you don't want to do but it's a useful tool in any workplace. Every organization is made up of a huge variety of people and leadership decides whether it takes advantage of the available brainpower or keeps people in boxes. Proactive leaders understand that a wide range of perspectives and ideas can build a stronger, more nimble organization. What will you do to celebrate diversity in your workplace?