Supporting Diversity in the Workplace

Embracing your Unique Perspective

“There’s more to diversity than gender, skin pigmentation and other physical characteristics,” Grant Freeland, contributor for Forbes stated in his December 2019 article on diversity. [1] Who we are as people, what languages we speak or are spoken in our homes, our hobbies, and interests; these all contribute to making each member of a team a unique contribution to the whole.

A few examples:

If your team works with international customers, having team members with unique cultural perspectives will help to strengthen the team’s ability to support each customer.

If your team develops websites for a wide range of industries, having a team with varied interests will better prepare you for meeting the unique marketing and design needs of each customer.

If your team plans a wide range of events, having a team with different interests and ideas of ‘fun’ will better prepare you to ensure an enjoyable experience for guests.

Seek out a diverse team

To gain the maximum benefit from a diverse team, think outside the box when interviewing new members. What are their hobbies, where do they like to go to eat, what’s their go to tv show on weekends; and compare these to your team. A few shared interests are good, they help build connection within the team, but also look for unique skills and interests and how they might complement those of your team.

Share your skills

As a member of a team, consider what makes you a unique contributor. What is that hobby that you haven’t told anyone about, and can it help bring a new perspective to the team? Perhaps you follow international sports – would this help you better engage with international customers? Do you have an eye for design, play basketball weekly with friends, or enjoy playing video games on weekends? If you were thinking this was a fact to keep to yourself, perhaps it’s time to let your gamer flag fly high. Sharing your interests with coworkers can “promote trusting relationships and a safe, respectful, and supportive work environment” [2] for the whole team and could reveal important skills to make you a stronger, more effective team.



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