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Creating Successful Leaders

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Your workplace is diverse, whether you know it or not. You may all be similar in appearance, but what about your interests? Work styles? Ways of thinking and doing? Diversity goes beyond ethnicity, gender, culture, and age. It also has to do with diversity of thought and behavior.

Such a mix of perspectives can be healthy for an organization, but only if it’s leveraged correctly. If the minority voices are constantly silenced by the majority, then any diversity your organization may have will not be used effectively.

Understanding and accepting differences in others is fundamental to the success of an organization. It’s what leads to great idea-generation, creativity, and an energized workplace. As a leader, your goal should be to encourage all voices to be heard, and all individuals to be valued.

But where to begin? Insights® Discovery (a tool for understanding and developing unique personalities) provides us with a great model to follow to embrace workplace diversity. Here are their five steps:

  • Build Self-Awareness: Every person brings a unique set of knowledge, experience, capabilities and behaviors to the table. Organizations can and should help their people fully understand themselves and recognize their individual capabilities. We can’t really begin to understand and accept others, unless we know ourselves.
  • Gain Understanding: As individuals, we need to understand ourselves, understand others, and be understood by others. This means approaching diversity with an open mind—a willingness to learn about your co-workers and how they think and perceive the world.
  • Adapt and Connect: Organizations should help their people adapt and connect to get the most from their teams. Adapting and connecting helps you achieve better engagement and interaction with others. Yes, connecting with people who think differently than you may stretch your comfort zone, but you’ll probably be surprised by how much common ground you share.
  • Find Value in Diversity: Insights calls this phase “Moving from frustration to fascination.” Instead of being frustrated by others’ differences, learn about them. Appreciate what they bring to the table and how it adds richness to your work experience. Make your work environment an inclusive one in which differences are appreciated and valued.
  • Leverage differences: The best teams are comprised of a diverse group of people who can bring out the best in each other. This can only happen through honest, open dialogue and a work environment that encourages diversity of thought and perspective.

HOW can you make your workplace open and inclusive? Stay tuned for next week’s blog!

Want more information on how Insights® Discovery can help your workplace? Contact me today!

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