Leverage Diversity for Greater Success

From http://thefutureleadershipinitiative.wordpress.com

As Adam Vaccaro points out, diverse workplace might ultimately create better results, as some new studies suggest.

“The study, detailed by NPR, looks at the work of scientific researchers and finds that papers written by multicultural teams were cited in other research more often than those written by homogenous groups. In the world of research, citations are seen as a metric of quality.

Ethnic diversity wasn’t the only harbinger of success. The same study also found that groups with members from geographic areas-perhaps three cities in the same country-also created better papers than those with members from the same place.

“It’s a matter of looking at individual teams and making sure they’re different perspectives, different points of view, different backgrounds,” NPR’s David Greene says.

The principle isn’t an entirely new one. The idea that different perspectives result in better work has been explored from a more macro-economic perspective, as research shows that diverse cities experience more economic growth. The idea is also at play in research showing that companies with females on their boards financially outperform those that don’t (have females on their boards).

From http://www.meritor.com

People tend to think of diversity as simply demographic, a matter of color, gender, or age. However, groups can be disparate in many ways. Diversity is also based on informational differences, reflecting a person’s education and experience, as well as on values or goals that can influence what one perceives to be the mission of something as small as a single meeting or as large as a whole company.

Diversity among employees can create better performance when it comes to out-of-the-ordinary creative tasks such as product development or cracking new markets… The researchers found that informational diversity stirred constructive conflict, or debate, around the task at hand. That is, people deliberate about the best course of action.

Diversity is the crucial element for group creativity. Innovation teams tasked with creating new products or technologies or iterating existing ones need tension to produce breakthroughs, and tension comes from diverse points of view. This is the opposite of groupthink, the creativity-killing phenomenon of too much agreement and too similar perspectives that often paralyzes otherwise great teams.

From http://www.nissan-global.com

 According to McKinsey Quarterly, between 2008 and 2010, companies with more diverse top teams were also top financial performers. That’s probably no coincidence. There are many reasons companies with more diverse executive teams should outperform their peers: fielding a team of top executives with varied cultural backgrounds and life experiences can broaden a company’s strategic perspective, for example. And relentless competition for the best people should reward organizations that cast their nets beyond traditional talent pools for leadership.

Leverage Diversity for Greater Success

😉

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Authentic Communication

From http://hr.toolbox.com

 Authentic communication is not always easy, but it is the basis of successful relationships at home and real effectiveness at work. Yet people constantly back away from honesty to protect themselves and others.

As Sheryl Sandberg points out, this reticence causes and perpetuates all kinds of problems: uncomfortable issues that never get addressed, resentment that builds, unfit managers who get promoted rather than fired, and on and on. Often these situations don’t improve because no one tells anyone what is really happening. We are so rarely brave enough to tell the truth…

From The Grumpy Poet

However, authentic communication is not simply about saying what we think at all costs. Communication works best when we combine appropriateness with authenticity, finding the sweet spot where opinions are not brutally honest but delicately honest. Speaking truth fully without hurting feelings comes naturally to some and is an acquired skill for others.

 From http://vinylzart.com

Communicaid identifies the following key elements of authentic communication:

  • Take responsibility for your communication and this means not only for what you say but also ensuring it has been fully understood.  You need to have ownership of the message and be responsible for any fall-out or negative response.
  • Be clear in your use of language so that you are not misinterpreted.  Avoid ambiguous language and technical or specialist jargon that may not be understood.
  • Tell the truth – make sure your facts are accurate and don’t make false promises or leave people to make assumptions that are misplaced.  Also be wary of not making promises that you will not be able to deliver on.
  • Don’t over-generalise or make sweeping statements such as, ‘Nobody thinks it’s a good idea’ or ‘This always happens’.
  • Work with the facts and be aware of the difference between your subjective opinions and the objective facts.  Avoid second guessing and making assumptions about what others are feeling, thinking or meaning.  If in doubt, ask for clarification.
  • Build a connection with the people you are communicating with.  Show them that you care and are interested in them.
  • Be consistent both in what you say but also how you follow up.  Your words should match your actions and you should always endeavour to do what you say you will do within the timeframe you have promised
  • Create mutual understanding by being prepared to share a little bit about yourself and by being curious about others.  Empathise with other perspectives and always try to imagine yourself in the others’ shoes.
  • Build your self-awareness and keep learning about yourself.  Be aware of your own judgements and prejudices and the obstacles that prevent you from communicating authentically.  Monitor your own negative responses and learn to manage your reactions to certain triggers.

From http://www.webbstar.net

In addition to creating better relationships, building trust, managing conflict more effectively and improving team spirit, authenticity helps to create happier, more self-confident and open individuals.

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