Diversity is perhaps the greatest resource we have in our organizations. Here are five reasons why:
1. Diversity Promotes Development
Organizations that nurture diversity often develop at far greater rates than their counterparts. Not only does the group develop as a whole, but each individual also matures to his or her fullest potential. That only happens when we all tap into the strengths of others, those strengths that perhaps complement our very own weaknesses.
2. Diversity Puts Forward Creativity and Innovation
Decision-making would be absolutely boring if everyone with comparable viewpoints tackled problems over and over again. The norm would naturally become, “Yeah, I agree with this. I see eye to eye with that. Blah! Blah! Blah!” This narrow-mindedness approach quickly halts the flow of creative juices right in to a quick halt. On the other hand, when people with a mixture of rich differences and matchless perspectives come together, ingenious ideas will definitely begin to surface.
3. Diversity Makes the Invisible Visible
When new initiatives are on the horizon, it’s natural for people to begin arguing the impact these potential changes could have on their individual and team duties. That’s okay though. Listen to their concerns as those myopic viewpoints could in fact bring attention to likely barriers that weren’t even considered. Although decisions should help the greater good of the organization, it’s always helpful to understand—and address—the effects they may have on each constituent.
4. Diversity Breeds Commitment
When people’s unique viewpoints are listened to, and solicited often, they tend to commit at a much higher level. This even occurs when their ideas weren’t necessarily the ideas brought into play. At least they now feel as though they were listened to. We all want to be heard.
5. Diversity Improves Relationships
When we prevail over the inherent struggles that accompany our differences, we start valuing one another’s perspectives. We are better able to walk in their shoes. This ability to understand and believe in others strengthens our relationships.
Don’t let differences get in the way of your organization’s progress. Instead, make it work for you—recognize it, value it, and celebrate it!