The Self-Awareness Guy

Diversity and Self-Awareness

10 Examples of Workplace Diversity

10 Examples of Workplace Diversity


There are many examples of workplace diversity that leaders and employees overlook but that can benefit everyone in their organization, including individual's:

  • Life experience.
  • Thinking style.
  • Socio-economic situation.
  • Work ethic.
  • Worldview.
  • Cultural background.
  • Education.
  • Physical appearance.
  • Communication style.
  • Skills.

Each of these items offers leaders and fellow employees the opportunity to learn more about another person and to use their unique perspective to improve the workplace. The trap we fall in is that we try to stuff people in a predetermined box rather than learning about who they really are and using their talents to build stronger, more diverse workplaces.

Cheers,

Guy

When Diversity Isn’t an Issue

When Diversity Isn’t an Issue

Workplace diversity is as positive or negative an issue as any leader or organization makes it.  Diversity can be a powerful tool to bring people together and use the talents and knowledge of your employees or it can generate fear and mistrust.

I tend to focus on workplace behaviors that produce positive results and create productive work environments.  Let's look at what might happen in a workplace if diversity is a negative.

  • Employees view each other as different.
  • People don't trust each other.
  • Some people are treated differently than others.
  • New ideas may not be welcome.
  • Leadership does not reflect the workforce.
  • Differences are viewed as negative.
  • Individuality is discouraged.
  • Diversity isn't discussed.
  • Differences are viewed as a threat.
  • Resistance to change.
  • There are exclusionary groups or cliques.

What might happen if you view diversity as a positive factor?

  • Differences are valued.
  • Less conflict because people value each other.
  • People learn about each other.
  • More trust.
  • Fewer divisions between people.
  • Leadership is diverse.
  • Greater collaboration.
  • Diversity is not an issue.

It takes so much effort to resist diversity because people just can't be jammed into one mold.  Even organizations that consider themselves homogeneous will find a wide range of thoughts, behaviors and abilities in their workforce, they just don't call it diversity.  By ignoring or minimizing the value of diversity they actually make it a bigger issue than it is.

When diversity isn't an issue you free yourself up to focus on creating an even stronger workplace.  Leaders have the ability to create diverse, thriving workplaces where there is a lively exchange of ideas and perspectives and people of every description are celebrated.  What will you do to make diversity a non-issue in your workplace?

Cheers,

Guy

How to Start a Dialogue on Diversity

How to Start a Dialogue on Diversity

Many organizations find themselves struggling with diversity not because they don't care about the subject but, rather, because they haven't really talked about what it means to their company.  For anyone looking for a way to start a frank dialogue I frequently recommend simply doing it.  The following questions will help you start a conversation.

What does diversity mean to us?

How can diversity help our company?

In what ways do we already celebrate diversity?

How does diversity fit in with our company values?

What can we do to bring everyone to the table?

Is our company ready to include everyone at the table?

How can we use diverse points of view to succeed?

Organizations sometimes hesitate about starting diversity initiatives because they haven't yet noticed what a gold mine they are sitting on.  When we harness the power of all our staff our organizations become stronger and we can draw on a much larger pool of talents and ideas.   The more we talk about how diversity can benefit our company the less we worry about it.

Focusing on using diversity as an asset is a fundamental shift that many companies use to their advantage.  They likely all started by asking themselves questions about what diversity means to their company and how they can use it to become stronger.

Now it's your turn, what will you do to start a dialogue?

Cheers,

Guy

The Definition of Diversity

The Definition of Diversity

Leaders frequently ask me what is the definition of diversity and I let them know that it's simply welcoming and celebrating the wisdom, talents, life experiences, and perspectives of the people in their organizations. Here are a few concepts to help illustrate what diversity is:

  • It's a variety of people with different life experiences coming together to create a positive workplace.
  • Diversity welcomes and celebrates various outlooks and worldviews.
  • It's a philosophy that honors and encourages differences.
  • Diversity is about inviting everyone to the table and valuing their input.
  • It increases our choices and access to opportunities.
  • It's a reflection of who we are deep inside and how we relate to others.
  • Diversity means we understand we're all in the same boat
  • It's not feeling threatened by people who are different.
  • Diversity proposes that we all share this planet and have a duty to help one another.

Diversity at its core is about welcoming and honoring all people and realizing that we're all valuable and worth treating with kindness and respect.

Cheers,

Guy

5 Ways to Promote Diversity in Your Organization

5 Ways to Promote Diversity in Your Organization

Diversity doesn't have to be a painful process.  The whole point of diversity is that it should add value and resources to your organization rather than create unnecessary friction and obstacles.  Think of the following ideas as you promote diversity in your organization.

  1. Start from the top down.  Leadership needs to be involved and fully supportive  in diversity initiatives.
  2. Have a plan.  Identify a couple of areas that you'd like to start on such as increasing diversity in leadership or improving communication.  Develop a basic plan of specific actions you will take to start the process.
  3. Have a conversation with employees. Start the dialogue on what your company is going to do about diversity and share information freely with employees at every level.
  4. Diversity is positive.  Diversity initiatives aren't about taking away rights or resources from people, they're about welcoming everyone to the table.
  5. Stay committed.  You need deliberate, ongoing action to keep your initiatives going.  One-time interventions or pep rallies only raise expectations and then dash them.  Stay committed to creating whatever your vision is.

Try these five steps and you'll be on your way to creating a successful, diverse work environment.

Cheers,

Guy