This week I talked about diversity. I talked about diversity in terms of race, color, and creed. I talked about diversity in terms of gender identity, sexual orientation, and disability, and I talked about diversity in terms of age, religion, disability, and so on. I also mentioned that diversity is not always a positive thing.
Diversity is a wonderful thing. It’s a great thing because it helps to put more people into the same space, giving us a better chance of getting to know each other and having a greater chance of having a successful business relationship. There are only so many ways to go around.
But we’ve all seen the same kinds of diversity problems before. The problem with diversity is that it’s usually a problem with only one type of person, such as men in suits, women in heels, or disabled people. That just sounds so much more cool and inclusive than the problems that occur when you have more than one type of person.
I hear that a lot too. Most business meetings are a disaster, with a different person in every seat and no one knowing who they are or why they are there. But I’ve learned that diversity works in business if it is done correctly. It is the same way in dating, friendships, and romantic relationships. If you are open to and want to enjoy yourself, it is possible to do so with a diverse mixture of people.
And that is the goal of diversity in the workplace. To diversify the types of people you work with and the types of people you hire. Diversity is not a bad thing when it works, but it does not work when it is done badly.
Good diversity begins with recognizing that there are two types of people in the work place: the ones who are good at what they do, and the ones who are bad at what they do. If you are good at what you do but you do it poorly, it is easy to blame it on the bad people who are there. But if you are bad at what you do and you do it really well, then it is difficult to blame it on the good people who are there.
I think that is a great idea. We often think of diversity as something that is bad, but in reality it is a good thing that we need to practice. It is very easy to fall into the trap of thinking that the best way to do diversity is to have everyone in your team talk the same language because that is what makes them fun to work with. But if we are to be successful, we need to work on being able to adapt to the world we find ourselves in.
It is difficult to think about diversity and adaptability from a distance. It is much easier to go through life blindly trying to do everything in your power to succeed. It is much easier to be a slave to our own success. At the risk of sounding like a white supremacist, it is also much easier to be able to think about diversity as a negative and not be able to get past the idea that people are different. But this is not how we should think of ourselves as a society.
Diversity is a good thing. If you’re a white supremacist you should be able to see that as a good thing. If you’re a feminist you should be able to see that as a good thing. If you’re an atheist you should be able to see that as a good thing.
In fact, diversity is one of the most important things to note in business. We are all aware of the idea that being diverse is different from being homogeneous, but that doesn’t mean that we should be afraid of it. If you are not part of a diverse business, you are probably doing something wrong. A diverse team gives you a chance to be different and meet new people. You will also be more likely to be successful.