Leaders need to be strong in such a wonderfully wide variety of ways. One is the strength to believe in the unknown and unfamiliar. To look beyond discomfort when faced with a personality that has formed in a different way to our own and instead home in on its brilliant potential.
Clearing bias and achieving clear-sightedness around diversity takes focussed mindfulness – and that in turn takes practice. Here are some ways we can help ourselves while it doesn’t come so easily.
Think “breakthrough solutions”
Teams with diverse backgrounds and personalities simply have a bigger arsenal when it comes to problem-solving and strategy-formulating. When bias gets in the way of your openness to diversity, try thinking “breakthrough solutions”. That’s the prize that diversity offers.
Discomfort around diversity is part of a bigger picture. In fact, it’s part of the really big one: the one where we simply don’t like change. Sticking to hierarchical structures – aka the status quo – is another way we avoid change in the realm of workplace communication. So mix it up. Invite input and feedback on a regular basis from those you outrank. Actively choosing to disrupt the status quo yourself will make it easier when the impact of diversity takes change out of your hands!
Work the promotion of diversity into your business’ scripture. Make sure it is a dynamic topic at recruitment stage (not just a box for candidates to tick) and that it informs and energizes training practices.