From
my experience, diverse teams work better. It’s good to have people on your team
that thinks differently and look at things differently than you. According to Small Business, “When a group or team
comprises people who differ in age, sex, race, cultural background and other
factors, the hoped-for result is a collaboration of wildly diverse thinking.
Working with people who differ from each other challenges people’s preconceived
notions about how the world works and it forces people to step outside their
comfort zones and consider new thought processes. By opening people up to new
ways of thinking, the hoped-for result is often new ideas, new processes, new
services and new products.”

While
I was part a diverse team, we had many challenges. We had members who left the
group because they refused to work with others from a different culture.  This hurt our performance because we were
short one member and many were left uncomfortable. I’ve also been also witnessed
a situation where a male refused to work on a team because the leader was a
woman. There are individuals who think so highly of their degree that they
refuse to work with or be led by an individual with no or a lower level degree.
To me, all of this is ridiculous. I will work with anyone, it doesn’t matter where
you are from, your race, gender, experience, or religion.  

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Without
effective management, a diverse team will struggle. It’s very important that
you get to know your employees as an individual. Recognize each person’s unique
talents and abilities.  You have to treat
them fairly and equally, regardless of gender or race. You have to understand
that diversity isn’t just about race and gender, you have to think about diversity as diversity of ideas and
experience. According to Small Business, When establishing new groups or teams,
smart managers strive for diversity by balancing the individuals they select
based upon differing internal factors, such as age, race and gender, and
external factors, including differing backgrounds, educational experiences and
political ideologies. Additionally, when working with diverse groups and teams,
smart managers seek open discussion, encourage feedback among group and team
members, actively listen, and practice flexible decision making. After all,
having diverse groups and teams in the workplace provides little value if their
new ways of thinking are ignored.” Diverse teams, as long as they
are well managed, tend to achieve goals more efficiently.

If
I were managing a diverse group, one of my biggest focus would be encouraging communication.
Communication is very important in a diverse work environment. According to
Small Business, “In a diverse work environment,
many different ethnicities, age groups, sexes and religions are represented.
Along with these differences come a variety of communication styles. One of the
main challenges of managing diversity is poor communication between employees.
It’s easy to misunderstand someone who communicates differently.
Misunderstanding leads to misinterpretation and poor office relationships. To
promote better communication in your office, encourage your staff to learn more
about their coworkers and communication methods. This can be done through
office retreats, frequent diversity meetings and diversity seminars.”
Poor communication can and will lead to poor productivity.