Managing diverse teams
Managing divers teams – I believe that diverse teams are powerful when well managed provide. They provide individual team members with an energising and exciting place to work. Here are some tips on managing diverse teams.
Recognize that people come with different needs. People are different for all kinds of reasons; age, sex or ethnic background being just the start. But don’t assume that just because they are old/young, male/female, black/white etc that they will be different. Get to know your people and find out exactly what each one need from you to succeed.
Recognize and give credit for wisdom. People bring a variety od learning and experience. All will bring something – for example, school-leavers may well be able to tell you about new trends. Take time to find out what each person brings to the party and be grateful for it.
Stand your ground, but do so with respect for difference. If you are the leader and accountable for results, do your job. People will be looking for you to lead and they can, quite rightfully, feel resentful if you leave them lost and without leadership. But lead with respect for all.
Be ready to learn from them. Be honest when you don’t know how to do something. If someone does have the answer, be humble enough to let them show you. It’s okay that you have some things to learn. We all do! You will be respected for your honesty.
Don’t avoid issues or fail to handle conflict. Don’t be tempted to make excuses for not knowing something, pretend you have more experience than members of your team. Don’t duck issues that arise between team members. Unresolved conflicts fester. Deal quickly with any indication of bullying.
Be honest with people. People value honesty expressed with care and courtesy. Treat them as you would like to be treated.
Practice patience. People may be more or less culturally, technologically, or trend, savvy. That doesn’t mean they will not be valuable. Take time to find out about them, then train where necessary. Different kinds of people may need different forms of communication or you may need to explain something in a different context.
Above all, enjoy the experience that working in a team with people from a mix of backgrounds brings. Their strengths will make for a powerful team
Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find all her books on Amazon at this link