Why is it important to surround yourself with people different than you
According to scientific research, when we meet a someone new, the first thing we pay attention to is the race and gender of this person. In this way we try to assess whether this person is different from us or not. If we find any similarities, we relax. Differences, on the other hand, make us nervous. We must understand that instead of being afraid of people who are different from us, we must reach out to them and find common ground - in life and in business.
Especially when it comes to professional environment, we must first realize that these "bubbles" we build around us, prevent us from being successful leaders.By blocking out people with different mindsets, we miss many raw diamonds within our team, who need our support and guidance towards success. Career coach and author of the American Forbes, Bonnie Markus, confirms that the habit of communicating with people who have similar views and skills can interfere with your leadership skills and can become a barrier to professional development. So how to get rid of this subconscious habit and get out of the bubble?
- Expand your horizons. Promise yourself to be more curious and open to learning new things, in particular from people with different life experiences and viewpoints that may differ from your own. Before you start judging or make up your opinion about them, pause and ask yourself what conclusion you are drawing right now. What do you need to do to establish facts or clarify someone's position?
- Encourage discussion and sharing of information through business meetings. In this brainstorming session, employees can discover their creativity and come up with innovative products. When people feel comfortable, they can openly exchange ideas. Pay attention to whether you are too insistent on your viewpoint. Try to pause and listen to others.
- Have meetings with the heads of departments and their staff. Forget the "bubble" that all leaders create around them when they rely only on information obtained primarily from division heads. Lack of reliable first hand information can lead to a disaster.
- Admit that you cannot have all the answers, as this is not possible. No one has all the answers. Perhaps this is the most important point. Respect different opinions and ideas. Be open to them. It will benefit both your leadership skills and your business.
Good leaders are always looking for new ideas and new perspectives which will contribute to the strategic growth of the company. So don’t be afraid of differences, because as a leader you don’t want to be surrounded by clones.