Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Potential Problems With a Diverse Workforce: Problem #1 and Solution

Potential Problems With a Diverse Workforce:  
Problem #1 and Solution


We’ve probably all have heard that a culturally diverse workforce is more creative and innovative than a homogeneous one. It’s become the “diversity meme,” so much so that there is hesitancy on the part of many people to question that statement.

In over twenty years, and with at least 100 clients,  I’ve come up with three key potential problems and solutions with a diverse workforce.

Here is Problem #1 with the solution.

1-  Your workforce is visibly diverse but people aren’t talking to each other.
    
    I’m going to share potential problem #1 and its solution now, and write about the other two in 
Problem #1- Your organization has a lot of visible and cultural diversity, but employees stay in their own groups and don’t talk to each other.  People are making assumptions, and talking about each other, but not talking with each other or interacting in a productive way.

Reason: Employees in the organization are used to primarily being around  people from the same background when they are not at work, or when they’ve worked in other organizations.

Your workplace is one of the first times they’ve interacted with people  from different cultures. They know little about people from different backgrounds except what they’ve heard from other members of their community or the media.

There may be discomfort and even tension between groups. They’re hesitant to ask people from other groups for help or share resources.  Communication styles and ways to express disagreement or resolve conflict are may be different. No one wants to say the “wrong thing.”

 Solution: They need to see people who are different as individuals and not as a monolith. In order to work well  together they have to be comfortable with each other.

Process: Bring people together for problem solving meetings. Break employees into small working  groups with people who are different from each other. Before they begin working, engage them in a dialogue process where they get to know a little about each other as people.
It can be a simple topic like discussing how they came to work at your company, what they enjoy the most about working there, or what they wish they had learned in school.

You can then ask them to talk about a time when they had to collaborate with others to solve a logistical problem and to describe how they solved it.

Then give them a real problem they need to work on in their groups.


This process may seem simple, or you might think it will take too much time when everyone has so much work to do. You’ll actually save time, money and energy.  The sooner you get people talking, sharing information, and interacting, the more comfortable they will be working together, sharing ideas and resources. You will see a rapid growth of innovation, creativity and discover their hidden genius.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Practical, Simple Ways to Champion Diversity and Build Inclusion




Join  diversity and inclusion expert, Simma Lieberman, "The Inclusionist," for a free one-hour teleseminar, "Practical, Simple Ways to Champion Diversity and Build Inclusion," on Tuesday, April 1, 2014 from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM (PDT) to learn how you can take your organization to the next diversity and inclusion level.  

Simma will share ten actions (from her new E-Book "110 Ways to Champion Diversity and Build Inclusion")
Don't wait for everyone to "get on board," or for a massive change.  Be part of the change and ride the crest of the diversity  and inclusion wave. There are actions you can take now and every single day, that don't take a lot of time, resources or money to build an inclusive culture.



Join diversity and inclusion expert Simma Lieberman, The Inclusionist," to hear new ideas and actions.

Topics to be covered include:
  * How to make people feel included first thing in the                morning
 * Simple ways to destruct conscious and unconscious bias
 * What to do when you're uncomfortable with people who are             different than you
 * How to help new employees feel welcome
 * What you need to know about working with people from                 different generations
 * How very small actions can go viral and create big change

Simma will be interviewed by marketing expert Linda Popky, of Leverage2Market Associates.


                                 Register Here Now

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Stress Is Contagious; here's a vaccine

I have been an organizational development consultant for over 20 years and have been teaching executives, employees, groups, and organizations stress management for 28 years. 

I've spoken and written about how executives can lower their own  stress level and the stress level of people around them,  and how to manage personal stress and not be a stressor to others. I've written articles and have a stress management toolkit that includes a stress management ebook.

Here are three ways stress of  others  can impact us and our health.

1- When people are stressed they tend to be uptight, not present and have a short fuse.
This is very stressful to us, because we pick up on their stress, start second guessing and stop being comfortable with who we are.

2- We focus on them and their needs and forget about our own which taxes our immune system. We end up worrying that we may set them off if we say the wrong thing.

3- It takes so much energy to be around friends, colleagues or families under stress which increases the secretion of our own stress hormones. We end up on their roller coaster which can give us  headaches, backaches and insomnia.

Below I share three of the ten key ways to manage your own stress when other people and their stress is stressing you out.

1- Use deep breathing techniques to distance ourself emotionally and not get plugged in to them and  their issues.

2- Catch yourself starting to give advice or "trying to help," and use self-talk as a reminder to let go and remember that other people can always ask for help, but you're not a mind-reader if they don't want to talk. Leave them alone or just leave them for the time being.

3- Limit time around those people, use caller ID, and shut down the sound on our cell phones.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Introducing our new ebook
110 Ways to Champion Diversity and Build Inclusion

Our clients, colleagues and friends have said, "We're convinced. We know how crucial diversity and inclusion are to our business success. What actions can we take today and in the future to create inclusive cultures? What can we do as individuals and as leaders to dramatically make a difference?"

You'll find creative and doable answers to those questions in our new book 


  

"This is a simple tool filled with a variety of good ideas that when implemented will certainly help set the tone for a more inclusive and rewarding workplace. Actions do speak louder than words and this booklet gives you and anyone in your organization 110 ideas to get started on."
Nadia Younes
Group Adviser, Diversity and Inclusion
Rio Tinto 


In the 21st Century modeling inclusive leadership behavior not only sets you apart as a confident and innovative collaborator, it serves as a competitive business advantage. This practical guide is a valuable and non-threatening resource for all diversity and inclusion leaders, regardless of where you are on your personal journey. Folks often forget what you said to them, but seldom forget how you made them feel".

Edgar Quiroz Senior Director National Diversity and Inclusion Kaiser Foundation Health Plan


Contact us about multiple copy discounts or to license 
the content and distribute unlimited copies to your organization, in PDF and also in a customizable Word document format.





Thursday, March 6, 2014

Talent Magnetism: How to Build a Workplace That Attracts and Keeps the Best.

Bersin by Deloitte recently predicted that organizations will be challenged to attract, retain and develop people in 2014 as they strive to keep pace with a global economic recovery. I’d say their predictions are already coming true. It wasn’t even 24 hours after the ball fell in Times Square that my phone began to ring off the hook. Yes, New Year’s Day I was receiving S.O.S. texts from business owners begging me to take their calls.

It’s official, the tides have changed and so must you if you hope to make it to shore with a full team in your boat. Here are some tips on how to attract top talent that will stick around from my latest book, Talent Magnetism: How to Build a Workplace That Attracts and Keeps the Best.

You don’t need a lot of people when you have a lot of talent. I hear companies all the time say that they can’t afford to hire the best. What if instead of hiring a bunch of mediocre people for low wages you instead paid a bit more and got a better qualified workforce? Think about it. The people in your organization who you consider tops are the ones that are doing the work of at least one or more people in your firm. Wouldn’t it be great to have a few more workers like that?

Attraction trumps recruitment time and time again. It takes a lot of effort to recruit people to your company, not to mention the cost that is usually associated with staffing (e.g., postings, recruitment fees, travel expenses for candidates, etc.). Now imagine how great life would be if top people were flocking to you for work? You don’t have to be a company like Google to make this happen. You just have to create a workplace that people would enjoy working in and have a magnetic employment brand.

If you don’t know what an employment brand is, chances are you don’t have a very compelling employment brand! An employment brand is the way you are perceived by prospective candidates and current and former employees. In this day and age, you cannot afford to be a best kept secret. I’ve helped companies of all different shapes and sizes with their employment brands and can attest to the power of pulling people into your organization the moment they first engage with your firm. Capturing their hearts and minds and having them yearn to be a part of what you are doing is priceless.

You can’t have a magnetic organization without magnetic leaders. There are lots of companies that have the potential to be magnetic if they would just pay attention to the people they are putting in charge. To be fair, lots of people are tossed into management with little more than a prayer, which I’ve written about in my bestselling book, Suddenly in Charge, and are expected to be at the top of their game without any support, so it’s hard to actually ask these people to take on all the blame. It’s time to reinvest in developing your management team. Encourage members to take classes on leadership development and/or to work with a coach or a mentor. Here’s a free download to help you get started.

Give people a reason to stay. It’s hard enough to get out of bed on days like today where the temperature here in the Northeast will not rise above 10 degrees. Now imagine having to do so when you are working in an environment where you feel that if you didn’t show up today, no one would notice. Today’s workers want to do interesting work. They want to feel valued and know that at the end of the day, they’ve made a difference. They also want to be treated with respect, which includes being paid based on the value they bring to the organization.

When is the last time you told one of your people that you are really glad they are part of the team? Are you helping your people understand how their work connects to the bigger picture of the firm? Have you given someone a raise on the spot because they deserve it, rather than waiting until their annual review comes around? Most people want to stay with their employers. Make it easy for them to remain by your side and they will.

Roberta MatusonThe Talent Maximizer®, helps organizations achieve dramatic growth and market leadership through the maximization of talent. Learn more about her latest book Talent Magnetism: How to Build a Workplace That Attracts and Keeps the Best and her bestselling book, Suddenly in Charge: Managing Up, Managing Down, Succeeding All AroundFollow her on Twitter @Matuson.

Roberta


Roberta Matuson
"The Talent Maximizer"
Matuson Consulting 


Phone: 413-582-1840

Monday, March 3, 2014

Ten Simple Steps to "Destruct" Conscious and/or Unconscious Bias

It's almost impossible to open up a book or article on diversity and inclusion without reading about unconscious bias, but I need to say that not all bias is unconscious.  Some of it is conscious and deliberate, and leads people to stereotype others and believe they are right.

Whether conscious or unconscious we can't "destruct" our bias until we understand the mindset and where it  comes from.

We have a filter in our brain that helps us interpret what we see and hear. It filters out information that is  personally not threatening, not important to us , and not in our perceived reality of how "it should be."

We form our biases based on our experiences; what we hear and what we see. We make assumptions based on our biases, which result in actions, which can lead to exclusion, discrimination, or avoidance.

 We're not responsible for the messages we received growing up, but we are responsible for what we do once we become aware of the impact those messages have had on our thinking and actions today. Too often the discussion of bias only deals with recognition, and lacks accountability and transformation.

When our bias is unconscious, we're not aware of our actions and the impact that we have on others. When our bias is conscious or deliberate, we are aware of our actions, but think we are justified because of how we consciously feel about a whole group. It doesn't occur to us that we might be wrong. 

If you know that there is even the slightest chance you may hold some bias or sometimes make wrong assumptions, and would like to know  what you can do to "destruct bias," read on. I'd love to get your thoughts on this subject.


Warm regards,
Simma
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Introducing our new ebook- 
"101 Ways to Champion Diversity and Build Inclusion"


Buy it here for only $9.99

Attend Our New Free Teleseminar


April 1, 10:00 AM-11:00 AM Pacific Time

Want to know what you can personally do now to champion diversity and build a climate of inclusion in your organization?
Then you want to attend our teleseminar




Ask us about our latest offering:
Trusted Adviser and Backstage Coaching  for CDO's, Diversity Managers, and Diversity Departments
We'll help you make a profound impact in your workplace!
Contact us today!

:: 510.527.0700

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Where To Begin
Be conscious of your visceral reaction or any thoughts or judgments you have about the next three people you see. What story or impression immediately comes to mind before you give it a second thought?

Notice their age, clothing, skin color, and any other visible characteristics at the root of your bias and the first story you created.
Next create a different story about what they do and who they are. Seeing other possibilities will help filter out your biases and wrong assumptions about people.

A True Life Bias Example
You're an extroverted White woman at a large dinner party interacting in a discussion with different people sitting near you. 

You're sitting next to a Black woman named Charlene who is not looking at you or engaging in your discussion. You turn your back to Charlene and ignore her the rest of the evening.

After the dinner you approach the host and tell her that you think Charlene doesn't like White people because she wouldn't talk to you.
The host, who is also White, informs you that Charlene is her best friend and is extremely shy in groups, and does much better in direct one-on-one interaction. In fact, you and Charlene share a love of spectator sports.
How could you have avoided making a wrong assumption about Charlene? What was the basis for assuming she didn't like White people?


Ten Simple Steps To "Destruct" Conscious or Unconscious Bias

1- Become aware and admit that we all have biases, even you.

2- Notice your initial thoughts when you are around people different than you.

3- Think and ask yourself:
- Where did this particular bias originate? - What's different today?

4- Determine whether you are forming an opinion based on an individual's actions or because of a stereotype you have about the group you think they represent.

5- If you have a bias about another person, be open to the possibility that you may be wrong, and be willing to accept evidence that is counter to your belief.  Be conscious of your biases before you act on them.

6- Take advantage of opportunities to interact with people who are different than you. Look for areas of commonality.

7- Be aware
of your biases about specific groups, and think of people you know from those groups that don't fit that stereotype.

8- Examine those stereotypes and think back to where and when they originated.

9- List your own dimensions of diversity, race, color, ethnicity, age, etc. Think of messagesyou've heard about any of those dimensions, as well as any time someone has made a wrong assumption about you based on one of those dimensions. 

Doesn't it sound logical that if other people hold a stereotype or make a wrong assumption about you based on your diversity dimensions, that you might be wrong about them?

10. As an exercise in breaking through bias, create a dialogue where you play each other's role, and speak as though you were the other person. 

Friday, February 21, 2014

Arizona Legislators Pass Pro-discrimination Bill

Arizona Legislators Pass Pro-discrimination Bill

Diversity and Inclusion zeros-Arizona legislators pass a bill making it legal to deny services to people that go against the religious beliefs of businesses. They have no homelessness, unemployment or crime and are looking for something to spend their time and money on.

Will they also deny services to the many Christian, Jewish, and people from other religions that support equality for LGBT people?

Be careful not to stereotype religious groups. There are people in every religion that support equality. That includes Mormons, different Christian denominations, Catholics, Orthodox Jews, etc.  



Don't hold everyone in a group responsible for the hater actions of people using religion as an excuse. Support people in every religion who support equality, diversity, and inclusion and don't make assumptions based on the actions and statements of those who hate loudly.