Strength lies in differences, not in similarities.
—Stephen Covey

Chances are your work culture is comprised of individuals that are not from the same “mold”; we’re all different in a variety of ways. What matters is how we embrace and leverage those differences.

As a leader, how and what are you doing to help others create and support an environment comprised of a variety of work styles and differences?

A few weeks ago we talked about a multi-generational workforce. Did you feel there were noticeable differences in styles and behaviors? Some feel yes, others say no.

We’ll add to those differences. Consider values, practices, traditions, race/ethnicity, religion and gender in addition to age. Now think about preferred styles such as Myers-Briggs, DiSC, Listening, and Managing Conflict. The differences are endless!

We all have biases and filters. What we suggest is taking the time to examine those biases and recognize the impacts on our relationships and mindset. Studies show that differences enhance learning; growth occurs when we listen, process, and understand things from a different perspective. We also have to understand that our way isn’t the only way!

We like to use leadership assessments that identify preferred styles and find this invaluable for teams and colleagues. The first step is becoming self-aware, and then we need to be cognizant of the styles of others.

Take the time to learn about teammates, colleagues, your boss, and others within your workplace. Share your background and what’s important to you and learn what’s important to others.

Listen to one another, openly exchange opposing perspectives, and treat all views respectfully and with an open mind!

We’re all different! Appreciate those differences and watch individuals and teams achieve more.

Our differences are our strength as a species and as a world community.
–Nelson Mandela