Diversity and Fall Colors
Fall is officially here, I love Fall! Every year I revel in the striking beauty that is autumn. I'm already anticipating experiencing the glorious colors displaying nature’s color palette, enhanced by the sunlight. The deep reds, the vibrant oranges, the lively yellows, the array of greens, and the earthy browns formed a collage of colors showing a bountiful variety. Together they demonstrated the beauty of fall.
I started thinking how the palette of colors is what makes the change in seasons spectacular. It’s the combination of the colors what makes autumn beautiful. What if the red said to the yellow, "I don't need you"...what if the yellow said to the brown, "There is no place for you"...what if the brown said to the green, "You're not necessary"? We would have not fall colors!
You should keep this in mind. It applies to people too. Are you as excited about the variety of personalities and preferences of the people around you? Can you appreciate the differences, or do you see them only as a cause of friction and annoyance?
In an organization, it’s the unity of talents, gifts, personalities, and, yes. . . even colors, what creates a unique and superior brand. Each person is part of the overall masterpiece. The differences aren’t the problem. They are part of the amazing explosion of creativity. The problem is our perception of the place differences play.
In relationships, it’s easy to focus on the differences that annoy instead of looking at them as an opportunity to become more tolerant, of learning different ways of doing and enjoying things. Differences, pulled together, bring more strength to decision making and problem solving. They can also make you more alive and joyful.
The one thing that makes diversity work
In 2015 Google set out to understand the drivers of employee retention and positive team outcomes. The search giant announced the results of a two-year study to understand, once and for all, the answer to the question, “What makes a Google team effective?”
What did they discover? The individuals on a team matter less than how those team members interact, structure their work, and view their contributions.
The researchers found “five key dynamics that set successful teams apart,” including dependability, structure and clarity, meaning, and impact. However, “far and away the most important of the five dynamics we found … the underpinning of the other four,” was something called “psychological safety.”
The term “psychological safety” was coined by Amy Edmondson, an organizational behavioral scientist at Harvard. Edmondson defines psychological safety as “a belief that one will not be punished or humiliated for speaking up with ideas, questions, concerns, or mistakes.”
Speaking up may sounds easy, but if you don’t feel psychological safety you’ll keep your concerns and ideas to yourself.
Every year trees shed their leaves without compunction because the are safe in knowing that come spring new leaves will dress them p again with the freshness of new and vibrant life. People will feel safe to share their ideas if they know that others can embrace innovative and divergent thinking without making them feel “wrong.”
Decide today to make your environment psychologically safe. Decide today to celebrate diversity. Open your eyes to the richness of ideas and opportunities that diversity of thought can bring, and your leadership will be better appreciated. See your sweetheart’s differences as a source of wonder and enjoyment and your love will be enriched.
Remember. . .
You can choose to see differences as beautiful, as an opportunity to enrich your own mind. Or you can refuse to even notice how variety can energize and bring the freshness of cooler air.
You can gather the flitting colorful ideas, or you might not wake up until the opportunity for innovation and growth has past you in a swirl of falling leaves.
You might take advantage of the diversity of thought to strengthen your place in the market, or you might not wake up until all the leaves have hit the ground, and only useless dry ideas and old cliches survive.
You can enjoy the differences in your relationship, or you might become as emotionally bankrupt as the naked trees that have no leaves left.
I prefer to enjoy the wide variety of colors both in nature and in people! And you?
Do you know how to optimize the diversity already present in your organization, or in your relationship? Can you take advantage of the creative energy of the swirling emotions that an interchange of diverse ideas bring? If you want to explore how to better work with the diversity you have in your organization and strategize how to optimize the energy that dialogue can bring to your team and organization, book a free strategy call directly on my calendar and we will explore the gold-mine you have at your fingertips.