The Feeling of Being Different
In this two-part discussion, you first have the opportunity to increase your awareness of the feeling of being different (diverse) through the completion of a short five-question survey—a tool used to measure the diversity of cultures in organizations. In the second part of the discussion you will reflect on your thoughts about inclusivity of all employees’ voices in company-wide decisions. You can use your current or past employer or an organization whose culture you know a lot about to address this part of the assignment.
“Being Different” Survey
Think back to a recent situation in which you experienced “being different” and address the following questions:
Describe the situation in which you experienced “being different” and explain how you felt.
What did you do as a result of “being different”? (In what ways did your behavior change due to the feeling of “being different”?)
As a result of that experience, how will you behave differently in the future when put in a similar situation or when you see others in the situation?
What is the overall characterization of the organizational culture profile where you work or where you have worked in the past? (See Chapter 15 in Organizational Behavior)
How is a culture of diversity measured at your workplace? (This is an opportunity to talk with your HR Manager.)
Respond with your thoughts as you relate the following statements to your own experiences:
Diverse and balanced teams produce better results; but how? When groups are formed, the teams are not usually a complete representation of a company’s employee base, especially when it comes to visible demographic diversity, such as gender and race. When employees feel that perspectives like theirs are included in decision-making, they often feel a strong sense of inclusion which, in turn, results in higher engagement and retention.
Healthy debates about options to move forward occur when team members are from different backgrounds. When team members of varying backgrounds fear voicing their concerns, however, debates and discussions are not reflective of the true culture of a company. Diversity works only when team members are comfortable with sharing their opinions without fear of negative consequences.
I can voice a contrary opinion without fear of negative consequences. Perspectives like mine are included in decision-making.