Modern organizations rely on diversity. Diversity in ethnic background, gender, education, experience, personal styles etc. This is often a source of conflict because the more different people are from what I am the more there is the risk that I cannot understand their thinking and reasoning.
Diversity and inclusion strategies must be job-relevant, skills-specific, and assist team members in understanding current workforce and marketplace realities. Organizations which tie diversity and inclusion to their business strategy increase performance, productivity and customer satisfaction.
(Image from University of Vienna
In a change process, we need to understand the gift of diversity, utilize the different skills, values and attitudes and make sure that conflicts are solved productively. At the same time e have to search for the common ground.
There are many tools which help us to understand differences. But it is not enough to understand them but we also need to enrich our own life and experience by learning from the others. But maybe the most important tool is are some simple questions:
"What is important to you? What do you care about? What makes you getting up in the morning?"
Questions for Deeper Exploration
- How diverse are we?
- Where is our diversity a great asset?
- Where is our diversity a blockade?
- How can we increase our own acceptance of “the other”?