How well do you understand diversity? - Part 2

22. June 2018 11:38

By: Whitney Pyle, COO/Co-Owner: JG Bowers, Inc. and Advanced Cabinet Systems

It’s important to understand diverse cultures, perspectives and people both in your work life and in your personal life. In a previously published article I stated, “Together, the dimensions of diversity give definition and meaning to people’s lives and allow people to connect with others. Connecting with others is one of the best ways to ensure the long-term success of your workforce and your business as a whole.”

To dive further into this topic, let’s discuss the importance of connecting with others. It’s important for your success, both in your work life and in your personal life to connect with others and leave a positive impression. To leave a positive impression with people you must have a positive interaction. One way to ensure a positive interaction with people is to try your best to understand why someone might think or feel the way they do. For example, in your work life, purchasing choices are most likely shaped by a person’s environment, their needs, and their values. Consider dimensions of diversity such as gender, religion, and age in the context of purchasing. Purchasing is a key component of work-life and business. Having a deep understanding of what motivates people’s buying habits will differentiate you from others. It also allows you to really connect with the purchasers of your product. So, you must think about what is motivating a person. Understanding the diverse make-up of people will allow you to gain understanding.

Thinking about and understanding the dimensions of diversity also help you connect with people in your personal life. Being aware of the cultural norms and expectations from others allows you to understand other’s expectations and avoid unintentionally offending others. For example, western cultures are often more informal, where people often refer to each other by first names. In eastern countries, like Japan, this is frowned upon as it indicates disrespect. Being aware of the cultural differences is important, as you could unintentionally make someone feel as though you are not respectful, and that can hurt relationships in your personal life as well as your professional life.

If you remain aware of all the dimensions of diversity that make up a whole person you’re more likely to be more successful in your work life and your personal life. Connecting with people must be intentional, especially in business. As technology continues to grow and people become more connected, the opportunity to interact with people grows exponentially. In order to succeed in business and in your personal life your interactions need to leave as positive of an impression as possible. Understanding all the dimensions of diversity will allow you to have more positive interactions with others.



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