How to Work With and Lead People Not Like You: Practical Solutions for Today's Diverse Workplace
DescriptionIf you're in a diverse team, you know employee differences can cause miscommunication, lower trust, and hurt productivity. . . It doesn't have to be this way!
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 1
Chapter 1 “I Used to Just Be Able to Do My Job—Now I Have to Be Politically Correct” 3
Diversity Fatigue—Why People Roll Their Eyes When They Hear the Word “Diversity” 6
The New Demographics 8
Working with People Not Like You is the New Normal 10
We’re Not Going Back to the Way Things Used to Be 11
Resentment is a Choice 15
Chapter 2 How to Break the Ice, Show Respect, and Build Trust with People Not Like You 17
Step 1: Break the Ice by Starting a Conversation 21
Step 2: Focus on the Person, Not Their Differences 22
Step 3: Find Common Ground—It’s There Somewhere 24
Chapter 3 How Do We Talk about Real Differences in People and Groups That Create Conflict or Hurt Productivity—Without Stereotyping or Offending? 29
How to Have a Constructive Conversation about Conflict with People Who Are Different from You 36
Four Magic Words That Make It Easier to Start a Conversation about Conflict 40
Chapter 4 Working with People Who Don’t Speak English 47
Chapter 5 Dealing with People, Groups, or Values You Don’t Like: How to Get Along and Work Together Anyway 55
Part II Leading People Not Like You—How to Get a Diverse Group of People to Trust Each Other and Work Together 63
Chapter 6 How to Break the Ice and Build Trust in Diverse Work Groups 65
Start Here 68
How to Break the Ice with Diverse Team Members 68
Leading a Virtual Team 70
Building Trust 71
Chapter 7 The Leader’s Role: Educating and Setting the Example 77
Making “We Value Diversity” Real for Your People 83
Dos and Don’ts for Leading People Not Like You 88
Chapter 8 Dealing with Conflict and Prejudice and Having Hard Conversations about Differences 93
Don’t Shy Away from Constructive Conflict 95
Dealing with Naysayers and Derailers 101
Chapter 9 Don’t Just Hire People Who Are Like You—But Avoid Tokenism 105
It’s Not as Simple as “The Best Person for the Job” 109
Bring It Back to Business 109
Don’t Hire the Wrong Person—Just to Satisfy a Desire for Diversity 110
Top Down Beats Bottom Up 111
Chapter 10 Navigating the Waters of Promotions and Professional Development 113
Chapter 11 Making Accommodations for Employees—Do You Have To? 123
Telecommuting, Parenthood, and Prayers, Oh My! 127
Bring It Back to Business 131