Influencer Daily

Unlocking Your Team's Potential
Sourced Photo

4 Steps for Unlocking Your Team’s Potential in a Diverse Work Environment

Kelly McDonald is a business authority specializing in consumer trends and changing demographics. She is the president of McDonald Marketing and the author of four bestselling books. 

It’s Time to Talk about Race at Work: Every Leader’s Guide to Making Progress on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion,   How to Work With & Lead People Not Like You, How to Market to People Not Like You, Crafting the Customer Experience for People Not Like You. In this article, she shares four steps to unlocking the potential of a diverse team.

A diverse work environment has become a norm in the 21st century. However, working with people with different backgrounds, personalities, and perspectives can be challenging. Team members may not agree with one another, and conflicts may arise. And demographics aren’t the only way we can be different from one another. Consider these diverse types of personalities and traits:

  • Morning people & night owls
  • Introverts & extroverts
  • Parents & non-parents
  • Creative thinkers & analytic thinkers
  • Risk takers and risk-averse
  • Listeners & talkers
  • Tech-savvy & tech-phobic
  • Rural & metro
  • Military & civilian

Nevertheless, following these four steps can unlock your team’s potential in a diverse work environment.

Step 1: Find common ground.

The first step to unlocking your team’s potential is to find common ground. It is easy to focus on differences in ethnicity, gender, and age when working with diverse people. However, looking deeper, you will find common interests and hobbies. Finding these commonalities can create a shared bond and connection with your colleagues. Start conversations by asking about their interests or hobbies, favorite books or movies, or sports teams they support. This will help you establish a good rapport and build a more positive relationship with them.

Step 2: Agree to disagree.

Different perspectives and approaches can lead to arguments and tension. In such cases, you can use the phrase, “I see it differently,” to avoid conflicts. It is a non-confrontational phrase that will allow you to express your opinion without antagonizing or judging others. Using this phrase, you can initiate a constructive conversation that will enable you to exchange ideas and perspectives.

Step 3: Take the emotion out of it.

It can be challenging to like everyone you work with, but you do not have to like someone to work effectively with them. At work, it is essential to leave emotions out of the equation. You can work with someone you dislike and remain respectful and professional. You can focus on the job at hand and put aside personal feelings. This will enable you to work productively with diverse colleagues.

Step 4: Bring it back to business.

Sometimes, team members may say or do inappropriate or offensive things. In such cases, it is essential to address the issue immediately. Start by clarifying what was said or done, explain why it is unacceptable, and state that it cannot happen again. This will enable you to bring the conversation back to business, and your team can continue working together productively.

In conclusion, following these four steps can unlock your team’s potential in a diverse work environment. Finding common ground, agreeing to disagree, leaving emotions out of the equation, and bringing conversations back to business are essential strategies to help you work more effectively with diverse colleagues. By embracing diversity and fostering a culture of respect and inclusion, you can harness your team members’ unique strengths and perspectives, unlock their potential, and achieve great success together.

#DEI  #teamwork  #Leadership   



This article features branded content from a third party. Opinions in this article do not reflect the opinions and beliefs of Influencer Daily.