The Power of Diversity: Our Differences Matter
Dr. Louis D. Wilford, DBA
Diversity brings about a competitive advantage in any setting. We must understand that our differences should not be viewed as barriers. What if we all were the same? What if everyone looked the same, dressed the same, spoke the same language, enjoyed the same music, had the same ideas, and comprehended the same? Your coworkers, business partners, and team members, what if they were all the same as you? If that were so, there would be no new ideas or inventions, nothing to inspire us or lead us to grow and innovate.
We are taught to find similarities in others and view them as strengths. Shying away from those who are not like us is a warranted norm. So why should we value differences? The most diverse places of business tend to be the most profitable (Gaskell, 2019). There is value in diversity. Diversity is absolutely fundamental to our survival, but it is also key to our thriving. Valuing differences and workplace diversity produces higher-performing teams, enhances productivity, and boosts morale (Thomas and Ely, 2019).
In this article, the goal is to express the importance of creating work environments that respect and includes differences by recognizing the unique contributions of others without bias and engaging team members and or employees in conversation by asking questions about their triggers that contribute to personal bias. Being diverse and inclusive takes practical engagement and effort. One must learn to overcome the challenges of cultural differences, identify and maximize the benefits of diverse teams in the workplace, and how to identify and manage your personal biases
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