Why Diversity Actually Reduces Conflict

Shawn Casemore • No Comment
Posted: March 18, 2016

I spent this past week at the Million Dollar Consulting Convention in Los Angeles. As much as I learned from the workshops and sessions at the convention, I was more intrigued by interactions between the diverse individuals in attendance. Everyone who attends this convention is a consultant, a speaker, a coach or in my case, all three.

What struck me about the many interactions amongst participants was that there was never any conflict. Sure there may have been some lively discussions and the odd challenge thrown out, however any such discussions are based purely on respect and a desire to understand the position or idea of the other individual, not out a lack of respect or a need to demoralize the other.

So how is it that nearly 200 people from around the globe can spend several days together in tight quarters with diverse backgrounds, opposing life experiences and varying generations, yet there is no conflict?

The answer is “common mission.”

You see everyone that participated in the event was there with a common mission – to learn, grow and build a broader network within a community of like-minded individuals.

I would surmise that you’ve experienced a similar situation when attending an event with individuals of great diversity but a common mission, then magical things will begin to happen:

  • New relationships are formed
  • Creative ideas rise to the surface
  • Opportunities abound

So if the common theme is to have a group of diverse individuals that are guided by a “common mission,” then we need to think about how to create a common mission in our organizations.

Here are a few ideas that I discuss in my book Operational Empowerment: Collaborate, Innovate and Engage to Beat the Competition:

  1. Involve employees in the formulation of your strategy.
  1. Build a strong connection between employees and their contribution to the customer (I call this the employee-customer connection)
  1. Talk about your vision and mission in ways that employees can relate too – how will it be helpful to them in the long term?

[Tweet “Build a common mission in your organization by involving employees in your strategy.”]

If a “common mission” can bring about stronger relationships, creative ideas and new opportunities, what do you have to loose?

© Shawn Casemore 2016. All rights reserved.

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