In our previous newsletters, that you can find here and here, resilience was discussed as the capacity to turn challenges into new opportunities. Resilience comprises a number of key competences, such as:
- Listening actively
- Being present
- Welcoming innovation
- Stimulating curiosity without judgment
- Valuing unicity and individual contributions
Team resilience is something you can learn. Besides fixed rituals and frequent exercises, there are several structural ways to build this capacity.
In this newsletter, we want to discuss diversity as a key element to increase your team’s resilience and agility.
Today, many studies indicate the importance of having a diverse team. In our complex world, an individual will not accomplish much on his own, however intelligent (s)he may be. Only in a team with complementary competences, one can be innovative and tackle contemporary challenges. Moreover, research shows that multifaceted teams are more competent to answer complex questions.
This pandemic has shown the advantages of versatile teams once again. If every employee were simply a copy of the other, all team members would find themselves in an emergency situation at the same time and react in exactly the same way with all its consequences.
Instead, imagine your team includes individuals with different profiles, and strengths and weaknesses of their own. Some situations may be easier to handle for some, whereas other colleagues may experience more difficulty. That is why diversity is essential for the team’s resilience, even in a crisis: the complementarity of each individual’s strengths will help you stay on track throughout all chaos.
Your team is probably more diverse than you think! Find out below how you can embrace this multiplicity of competences.
Tip #1 Create trust at work
Friction leads to dialogue and an exchange of ideas, resulting in innovation. It’s essential for every team member to be open about his or her opinion without being afraid to ask ‘stupid’ questions or to be judged.
Everyone in your team constantly agreeing with each other indicates a lack ofinclusion. Perhaps it’s time to properly reassess your team’s way of working. The following questions may help:
- Is there a feeling of anxiety and/or pride?
- Can your team members be themselves?
- Can they be vulnerable without being judged?
- Is everyone allowed to share their opinion?
- Are divergent ideas taken into account?
Diversity is not always visible, making it difficult to measure it precisely. One of the best ways to evaluate variety, is to allow and encourage your team members to express their disagreement in a healthy way, giving way to an adult conversation.
Tip #2 Hitting the breaks to accelerate
Due to the Corona crisis, the whole world came into contact with a number of novelties, forcing us to take quick decisions. The quicker this decision-making happens, the more frequently our brain will take the shorter route. If a ball is shot in your direction, your body will react without you thinking about it. But what about other situations? Are you consciously taking those shortcuts? What do you base you hypotheses on? This unconscious bias frequently has negative consequences: we risk taking decisions not everyone agrees with.
Hitting the breaks then becomes essential to raise awareness on your own blind spots or filters. If you slow down your decision-making, you get the chance to question yourself and to look at things in a broader context, helping you to consider colleagues’ different opinions, and to embrace diversity and multiplicity of perspectives. As a result, you can take better decisions and act quicker.
Tip #3 Openness & discussion
Everyone has their own preferences, however, are they considered frequently enough? As an executive, avoid adapting the whole organisation to your own preferences: this is counterproductive as it will aid only you to deliver good performances. Listen to your individuals empathically and curiously to learn more from them. Take their feedback into account and step away from rigid processes so your employees feel more engaged.