How to Work With and Lead People Not Like You: Practical Solutions for Today's Diverse Workplace
The people you work with may be from a different generation, different culture, different race, different gender, or just a different philosophy toward work and life in general, but you need to work together toward a common goal. How to Work With and Lead People Not Like You explains how to dial down the differences, smooth out the friction, and play upon each other's strengths to become more effective, more productive, and less stressed. The keys are to find the common ground and identify hidden conflicts that are hurting productivity.
Many people shudder at the prospect of working with diverse groups of people, but they can't voice their fear or anxiety. At work, it's not OK or politically correct to say, 'I'm uncomfortable with this person.' In fact, if you do say something along those lines, your job may be at risk. Your company may terminate you for not being on the 'diversity bandwagon.' So you keep quiet and you keep your thoughts to yourself. But deep down, you are uncomfortable.
If you feel like this, it doesn't mean you're racist, sexist, ageist, homophobic, or any other negative label. It means you're struggling.
You're struggling to understand people, cultures, or values that are unfamiliar to you. You're struggling to do your job with teammates and coworkers who may have very different viewpoints or different approaches to communication than you have. You're struggling to overcome differences and pull together to achieve high performance at work.
Whether you're leading a diverse team, working in a challenging cross-cultural environment, or simply working with people who are 'not like you,' you need to be able to get along with everyone as a team, to get the work done. This book explains the skills you need to communicate, motivate, and inspire people to collaborate—even if they have very different values, lifestyles, or priorities.
- Learn key steps that bring cohesion to diversity
- How to have a constructive conversation about working alongside people who are different
- The four magic words that make this easier and smooth over friction
- What not to say—and why
- Learn to set aside differences and get things done
- Learn how to handle a racist, sexist, homophobic or offensive remark in a professional way
- Retain your sanity when colleagues drive you crazy
The changing demographics of today's workforce bring conflicting viewpoints, perspectives, approaches, skills, habits, and personalities together in one place; whether that leads to synergy or catastrophe is up to you. How to Work With and Lead People Not Like You helps you turn a hurdle into an advantage so you or your team can do more, achieve more, and enjoy the ride.
PART I Working with People Not Like You: How to Build Relationships and Foster Connections Across Different Cultures and Values
CHAPTER ONE: “I used to just be able to do my job. Now I have to be “politically correct’”.
Your workplace is changing – and you resent it. Or don’t understand it. Or you feel marginalized. You’re not alone.
“Why can’t we just go back to the way things used to be?”
Playing Nicely with Others
It’s expected at work, but difficult when working with people you don’t feel comfortable with
And the “Diversity Police” make it seem like everything you feel and think is wrong
If this creating friction for you, you’re normal
CHAPTER TWO: How to Break the Ice, Show Respect and Build Trust with People Not Like You
Meet & Greet – it works!
What to say when you don’t know what to say
Focus on the person, not their culture, manner of dress or age
Find common ground – it’s there somewhere
Find out what they care about – what brings them joy or satisfaction or makes them unhappy or frustrated
Values drive behavior
How to find out what they value
CHAPTER THREE: How Do We Talk about Real Differences in People and Groups - Without Stereotyping or Offending? We’re Conditioned to Be Afraid…
of being hurtful or offensive
of making unfair judgements or stereotypes
of making the other person defensive
of rocking the boat or getting in trouble
of being accused of being racist, sexist, ageist, homophobic or xenophobic
How to have a constructive conversation about working alongside people who are different
Four magic words that make this easier
And 5 things not to say
“Replace This with This” statement examples
e.g. Instead of “What do you people eat for dinner?” try “What’s a popular dish in your culture?”
CHAPTER FOUR: Working with People Who Don’t Speak English
CHAPTER FIVE: Dealing with People, Groups or Values You Don’t Like: How to Get Along and Work Together Anyway
Pinpoint and Understand What Irritates You – and Why
Does it conflict with your values?
Is it bewildering to you?
Does it simply annoy you?
Understand that they’re not trying to be difficult
They’re behaving the way they were socialized – the only way they know how to be
Not right or wrong, just different
You won’t change them. But you can both ADAPT
PART II Leading People Not Like You – How to Get a Diverse Group of People to Trust Each Other and Work Together
CHAPTER SIX: How to Break the Ice and Build Trust in Diverse Work Groups
CHAPTER SEVEN: The Leader’s Role: Educating and Setting the Example
Lead by example
It starts with naming the elephant in the room
Truth breeds trust
Foster safe discussion of issues
Making “we value diversity” real for your people
Three Steps that Make it “Real”
Walk the Walk
Expect to Educate. And Repeat. And Repeat…
Make a plan – treat it like every other aspect of your business
Don’t be afraid to refine it along the way
Do’s & Don’ts for Leading People Not Like You
Keep your ear to the ground, listen to the hallway chatter
Cultivate your “pilot fish”
Don’t “Launch & Abandon”
Set new goals and strategies to strengthen ongoing efforts
CHAPTER EIGHT: Dealing with Conflict, Prejudice and Having Hard Conversations about Differences
Leaders know that constructive conflict has a purpose
High-performing teams talk about reality and difficult subjects
Discussing real issues leads to real solutions
How to lead and guide the conversation so that it is productive, not destructive
Don’t let issues and problems fester. Fix them – with the help of your team
Dealing with Naysayers and “Derailers”
CHAPTER NINE: Don’t Just Hire People Who are Like You – But Avoid Tokenism
CHAPTER TEN: Navigating the Waters of Promotions and Professional Development
Promote people who are like you – and those who aren’t
Chapter Eleven: Making Accommodations for Employees: Do You Have To?
Telecommuting, Parenthood and Prayers! Oh My!
Beards at work – for religious purposes
Conclusion / Final Thoughts