To create a culture where diversity and trust can flourish is to ride winds of the upper air.
Just as airplanes take off against wind, not with it, so also do diverse approaches push back. It just makes sense to rise together, rather than float along with current air-streams.
Yet workers often find themselves on a crash course. Caught between what should have been a great American dream and workplace frustrations that limit their reach. How does it happen?
Toxins enter workplaces through neglected cracks over time. When organizations, run by people who protect exclusive access, resist open entry-points that free people from narrow minded thinking, workers resist differences. According to several polls less than 30 of corporate workers care less about their jobs. In fact 20% want to undermine co-workers. Is it possible that when everything seems to push against you at work, you risk that new journey? Could current toxins, and the fallout that diminishes people and prosperity – compel far healthier flights in future? Will organizations that embrace diversity rise above clouds that obscure multiple talents at work?
Imagine a workplace where no brain is left behind, and you begin to see innovative possibilities where hidden and unused brainpower enters the mix already there. In the Rochester NY area, Wegmans brings workplace well being into the food store industry, as they lead through diverse expansions. From Asian Wokery to world class bakery to Veggie and Fish bars, Wegmans chases down the best in every culture and adds its own respected signature of care to showcase its top brands.
Brainpowered strategies create entry points into brainpowered settings where workplaces such as Wegmans cultivate mental well-being that relies on talents from highly diverse workers.
Affirm others’ thoughts before sharing yours
Leaders offer incentives for diversity in communication, when they affirm others’ success at several levels of the organization. Affirmation is practiced more where there is a welcome climate and where diversity becomes a handmaiden to curiosity.
Open your comments with one affirmation that’s genuine, and you’ll build safety for others to risk sharing ideas on several sides of any issue.
Identify one main idea from a person’s statements, and you’ve just prepared the way to collaborate on that person’s concept. Avoid commenting when you feel attacked – because you will likely come at topics with a heated amygdala, and that will cloud any ability later for clear thinking or thoughtful collaboration. Instead invoke novel solutions, that encourage people to invent together, rather than vent about problems.
Did you know that affirmation literally kickstarts brainpower, through the serotonin chemicals for wellbeing that it generates? In his book, Firms of Endearment, Raj Sisodia builds the case for why companies who care, outperform all others. The publicly traded FoE companies researched, returned 750% over 10 years while the S&P overall provided a 128% return.
Interestingly, over the last 5 years, these same companies that valued care gained their investors a 205% return, when the S&P lost 13%. You’ll recognize a few of these –Southwest Airlines, IKEA, Whole Foods, and Trader Joes, are perhaps best known.
So how can building care and trust – across differences – increase prosperity in all organizations? Where does one start?
Look for one key topic or problem to build peaceful resolutions onto with folks from diverse backgrounds, and watch the wonder of many brains working together toward what most people crave – a finer future to replace troubled times in any area targeted.
Some 2 million American workers are victims of workplace violence yearly, while people crave affirmation that draws folks together. Like the Vodka hidden in a whisk of orange juice, cruelty may starts with poison tone, and even escalates pollutants such as racism. It doesn’t have to be that way, though, and affirmation can make the difference.
Not that relationships across difference are filled with peaches and cream. On many days you may wonder whether your few affirmation or generous actions can accomplish anything at all. Sometimes when difference emerge, you may even sense that you just took a bullfrog leap in the wrong direction.