The members of a working team likely have some talents in common. They also have talents that are different. It is beneficial for a leader to find a way to merge the unique talents that are present. Those varying skills may increase the conflict in a group, and they may also help the group solve problems better. A strong leader will find a way to employ varying talents and to keep members focused on solving common challenges.
Leaders can use the following skills to employ diversity in a working team:
Perception. Using senses, emotional intelligence, and self-awareness, a leader can learn about the people he or she works with. When a leader works with another, use perceptive powers; peel past the surface. What is going on? What is important to this person? When does this person show high levels of energy?
Appreciation. Let judgment recede. Adopt a position of gratitude to work with this person. What are the gifts that this person brings to the relationship? Consider that because you have chosen to interact with this colleague, your life is made simpler. Appreciate the unique qualities that this person adds to your work. Encourage your colleague to do more work in his or her strength area.
Negotiation. Leadership often involves give and take. Negotiation often exists even when leaders have not involved high stakes. The skillful maneuvering over position reveals much about the talent and native ability of others. Learn about the people on your team, and study their different talents. Understand that your knowledge of these differences may help you advance your team in the future.
Focus. It makes sense to sharpen one’s focus on a few key objectives. When the leader can remove distractions, the diverse contributions of team members appear in greater clarity. When all team members are aiming at the same target, their method of gaining an advantage will vary. The target may be approached from the left, from the right, from below, and from the side. A focused effort provides sharp perspective. Focus helps us see what is similar, and what is different.
Flexibility of thought. Stay flexible, because diversity means working with styles and approaches that are different to you. The different experiences and ideas of your team may be challenging to your current mindset. Give them a try, and consider that other people may qualify to be your teacher in ways that you have never expected. Diversity can bring anyone unexpected gifts. As a leader of a project team, be patient with differences. Consider the alternative form of strengths that may help your group.
Leaders, look for the diversity around you. Use the powers of your mind to see the potentially valuable contribution of others on your team. You’ll go further with the help of different strengths, experience, and ideas. Be grateful for differences!
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Watch “Questions to Change Your Life” http://youtu.be/xCG3UjeOVAc