How to manage a diverse team


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  • Ask the members and take down pointers on a white board or a chart paper. Make them think about their recent team experience inside/outside AIESEC and let them reflect on their learnings.
  • Ask the members and take down pointers on a white board or a chart paper. Get the members to talk about the various personal/professional challenges they faced while working in a diverse team. Highlight the points that talk about “diversity” in a team or points that align to the objective of the session.
  • Get them to talk about their expectations and later talk about the pointers in the next slide and mention them briefly.
  • Talk about the fact that one of the most challenging tasks for a team leader is to bring different people together. The team leader must do this within the scope of the organization’s resources relative to the growth of the team member.
  • When leaders see differences as an advantage, they seek diversity in their teams and work hard to get different perspectives and opinions on the table. They naturally encourage individuality while promoting teamwork. This means they actively encourage team members to share ideas and to suggest options that have not already been considered.
  • Leaders need to encourage the involvement of all team members who, in turn, need to feel comfortable about offering suggestions and challenging ideas or practices. Leaders demonstrate inclusion by being open to new ideas, listening to different perspectives and encouraging creative problem solving. An inclusive leader will challenge the group with comments like, "What other ways can we spin this idea?" "Who can suggest something totally radical to what we've done in the past?" A leader may also encourage participation by asking individuals to list ideas on cards to be submitted to a master brainstorm list.
  • Stereotypes are beliefs that all members of specific groups share similar traits and are likely to behave in the same way. Stereotypes create categories and then fit individuals into them. In some respects, this is a useful adaptation to the current environment, but in other cases, conclusions can be made that are detrimental to the understanding of people and to the dynamics of a team. Individuals never conform to an exact stereotype, given that individual differences outweigh similarities with others in a group, and subsequently, people on a team may use limited personal experience or perceptions of others to guide their interactions. Leaders must avoid associating any behaviors, talents or lack of ability with any particular group. For instance, any leader who assumes that all women are emotional or that all Asians are excellent in math is guilty of prejudice and, further, does not acknowledge the uniqueness of each individual.
  • Effective leaders demonstrate the behaviors they want from others. When they show respect for differences, develop trust in their teams and promote the valuing of differences, they set the standard for how others should behave. They should clearly communicate that disrespect for others will not be tolerated. If they observe inappropriate actions or hear disparaging comments, leaders need to be quick to confront the behavior and to suggest or encourage more appropriate ways to handle the situation. They LEAD BY EXAMPLE.
  • Leaders need to make expectations clear to all employees and coach them individually toward higher levels of performance and growth. Besides the individual coaching, leaders will need to help diverse teams with conflicts that may arise from their differences. The leader must also encourage team members to coach others. As coaching becomes part of the environment, new members to the team have access to and can build mentor relationships with others who can be helpful resources in the organization.
  • The advantages and disadvantages of diverse teamsType theory suggests that teams made up of diverse personality types will be more effective as they have a greater range of viewpoints and strengths to draw upon. In other words, the presence of diverse types and viewpoints within a team will ensure sophisticated, all-round solutions to problems. But that is only true if the differences are respected and can be harnessed effectively by the team leader. Many of the team problems outlined earlier share a common root cause - lack of awareness and lack of respect for difference. In teams where there is diversity of type but no understanding or appreciation of it, the diversity becomes a liability to the team rather than an asset.
  • It’s easy enough to do, especially when many people are very talented with languages and are multi-lingual. It can sometimes be the everyday expressions we use that people (who are not local) don’t correctly interpret. So be careful with the words that you use and always clarify that people have correctly understood what you have said or asked.
  • People from different cultures behave differently. It can be simple things such as meeting etiquette and promptness in attending meetings that can have a big impact on teams. If you expect everyone to attend meetings on time then say so during the early days of team formation. Discuss your expectations of the team with the group then everyone is clear. . If something is having a detrimental impact on the team as a whole, it may be necessary for the team leader to have a private chat with the person or persons involved. Such a situation must be handled sensitively with consideration to everyone involved.
  • This can be a great activity early on in the team’s formation and gives all the team members an opportunity to know more about each other.
  • It’s very important for leaders to address any such behaviour when it immediately arises. If you are subjected to discrimination, discuss it personally with the concerned person in your team leader’s presence.
  • There are many cultural stereotypes; remember that most are outdated and incorrect. An ethnically diverse team has the potential of generating ideas and solutions that are the result of different people, with diverse backgrounds, approaches and experiences. Take time during the team’s formation to ensure everyone is aware of the cultural differences on the team, and these should help to build team tolerance.
  • People should not be viewed as weak if they ask for help. Joining weakness with strengths to get a goal or objective accomplished is one aspect of building great teams. One person’s weakness should be another person’s strength
  • Although language is the most obvious communication barrier, it is not the only one. For example, some people communicate in a direct and explicit way, whileothers may have a more nuanced, indirect style. Differences can lead to misunderstandings or good ideas being overlooked.
  • Closing video : leave the members with a thought that it’s the team that matters. Its not about the individuals, its about the team.
  • How to manage a diverse team

    1. 1. Managing Diverse Teams
    2. 2. What has been your biggestlearning from a team experience?
    3. 3. What are the challenges that you have facedwhile working in a team?
    4. 4. What are your expectations from your team?
    5. 5. To actively contribute to the team and to be recognized fortheir contributions.To be judged fairly and to be recognized and rewarded for ourperformance.To be given the opportunity to develop their abilities.To be treated professionally and respectfully by othermembers of our team.To be valued as unique individuals.
    6. 6. A leader needs to recognize the diversityof each team member and achieve unityof common goals without destroying theuniqueness of any person.“Find the best in everybody. Wait longenough, and people will surprise and impressyou.” - Randy Pausch
    7. 7. The Five Biggest Traps To Avoid WhenLeading a Diverse Team
    8. 8. 1. Not Valuing Differences
    9. 9. 2. Failure to Create an InclusiveEnvironment
    10. 10. 3. Stereotyping
    11. 11. 4. Not Modeling the Expected Behaviors
    12. 12. 5. Failure to Coach
    13. 13. Tips for ManagingCulturally Diverse Teams
    14. 14. Misconceptions and MisunderstandingsLanguage is essential to communication yetit can cause many misunderstandings. Just because people speak English don’tassume that it’s as easy for them tocommunicate as it is for native speakers.
    15. 15. Behaving DifferentlyBe considerate and tolerant of cultural differences.These can be habits, or beliefs, body language, orways of speaking. What may seem strange in somecultures can be normal in others
    16. 16. Understand the DifferencesGet to know and understand the variouscultures on the team.Respect different opinions and viewpoints.
    17. 17. Zero Tolerance to DiscriminationSometimes discrimination can be subtle. It can be in theform of jokes or general comments. What can seemfunny to some can be hurtful to others, so it’s importantto stop can behaviour which could be viewed asdiscriminative to someone else.
    18. 18. Being Team PlayersEveryone on the team should feel they are animportant part and that they are contributing tothe team’s success. Check that no one is beingfrequently being interrupted, ignored or over-ruled by others in the team.
    19. 19. How can you as a Leadermake a team out ofdiverse individuals?
    20. 20. Develop an atmosphere in which it issafe for all members to ask for help.
    21. 21. Actively seek information from peoplefrom a variety of backgrounds andcultures in order to develop a broadpicture.
    22. 22. Include everyone in the problemsolving and decision making process.
    23. 23. Include people who are differentthan you in informal gatheringssuch as lunch, coffee breaks andspur of the moment meetings.
    24. 24. Respect differences.Don’t assume that different waysof working are wrong.
    25. 25. Be self-aware.Think about how your own backgroundsteers your working style: what youconsider the normal may not seem normalto others.
    26. 26.  Appreciate people as individuals,rather than stereotyping them byculture or generation.
    27. 27.  Understand different communicationstyles and foster good communication.
    28. 28. Let people know constructively if theirbehaviour – for example, jokes,recruitment or communication style – isdamaging inclusion.
    29. 29. Don’t just assume that everyone willgel along to the same extent.
    30. 30. Food for Thought:Talented individuals bring differentperspectives and ideas to theworkplace. Its a leaders job to attractand retain them. Avoiding the fivetraps can move diverse teams to theirhighest level of performance.
    31. 31. Remember the Titans : finalspeech