Diverse teams with members from different backgrounds will offer an even greater variety of expertise and personalities. While it may take an increased amount of respect and awareness to work in concert, the team has a greater potential for victory.
- Be aware of your filters: Every person has multiple filters through which they see the world. Examples of these filters include: gender, generation and ethnicity. Be aware of how your filters may impact your interactions with others.
- Be respectful: Everyone has different life experiences that shape their particular point of view on different matters. Being respectful means acknowledging that other points of view are equally valid to any point of view that you might hold.
- Be willing to listen: In order to understand where others are coming from, we need to stop and really listen – for what is said and also for what is left unsaid.
- Be willing to learn: Our colleagues bring rich life experiences along with them into the workplace. Be open to sharing your own life experiences with your colleagues and learning about their life experiences.
- Be willing to share: We have much that we can teach others if we are willing to share our experiences in a way that is respectful.
- Be open to new ideas: Often we get caught up in the “way things get done around here.” Being open to new ideas allows room for innovation and creativity.
- Be proactive: Take the first step and introduce yourself to someone new. New people expose you to new ideas, diverse points of view and helps create a stronger professional network.
- Be inclusive: Being respectful of other people and their ideas is a first step, but seeking ways to include their ideas and work styles will help all team members to realize their importance to the team.
- Be willing to say, “can you tell me more?”: Often when we hear an opinion or idea that is new or that we don’t agree with our first reaction is, “we can’t do that or that won’t work.” Being willing to say instead “can you tell me more about that”, allows you to hear the background behind the idea being presented and it often provides the important perspective needed for understanding.
- Be willing to build bridges: Teamwork does not always go smoothly. When it doesn’t, be willing to step forward and ask how you can work better together next time. If an apology for a misunderstanding is needed, be willing to make it.
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