Contributor: Kari Heistad, Founder and CEO, Culture Coach International
America’s best-known Colorado River explorer was John Powell, who lost his right arm in the Civil War at the Battle of Shiloh. In 1869, he started with 10 men to explore the length of the Colorado River. Three months later, six would complete their journey after some harrowing experiences. Powell returned in 1871, to map the river and to conduct geological studies. Powell inspired courage and belief in the men that he led and he never put any limitations on his abilities. While not battling white water rapids, working on diverse teams with divergent points of view creates opportunities for a different kind of courage.
This kind of courage is the willingness to have difficult conversations respectfully and in doing so, to form deeper team bonds that build inclusion and engagement for all team members.
Action Step: Get beyond your conscious or unconscious bias. Be willing to explore different points of view and in doing so, broaden your own.
Discussion Questions to Consider:
- If we were a new team starting fresh, would we collaborate with the same people outside the team as we do now? Why or why not?
- Are there any collaboration partners we need to change? If so, why?
- How might our biases impact who we choose to work with?
- How might the biases of others impact their ability to work with us or to hear the ideas that we are presenting? How might we overcome those biases to collaborate better?