“Diversity” can mean many different things to different people – ethnicity, gender, age, religion, etc. It can also refer to personality types, work experience and professional interests. The challenge of leading diverse teams of people from various backgrounds is being able to create a sense of community in which individuals are able to collaborate to achieve success.
In order to create a more inclusive, committed environment it’s important to first understand the different perspectives or ‘mindset’ of each person and how they view the workplace. As leaders, we need to be able to answer some key questions:
- What motivates each individual – why do they come in to work everyday?
- How does each person prefer to be recognized?
- What type of communication or leadership styles does each person respond to?
- What current policies or practices in the office impact individuals or groups of people?
The ability to openly communicate with team members and appreciate their unique perspective will help guide the management strategies put in place.
Leading diverse teams means not only acknowledging the differences that people bring to the office but also recognizing those differences as valuable. Through supporting and developing individual strengths you can maximize the potential of all workers and create a more effective, productive team.