Global Flipchart #20
Embracing All Differences
Whenever I hear that someone, or some company is “diverse” or values “diversity”, a single question comes to my mind: “are you?” or “do you?”. You see, I’m a highly functional introvert, or so I’m told. I basically do not like standing out and I try to stick to my own business. I have trouble making new relationships and I find myself challenged every time I need to go out into the world to buy food, gas for my car or simply to walk around my neighborhood.
I rarely find people that understand how it feels to be an introvert but not look like one, but every now and then I do find someone. I have never found someone though that says, “I value people regardless of how shy they are or how much they want to be left alone,” and that makes me wonder if our concept of diversity is really inclusive.
Truth be told, each human being is different. When a team is properly facilitated those differences create the most spectacular outcomes, which is what I love the most about being a facilitator. I love it when teams are composed of diverse people that are so different that the first thing you facilitate is building a common ground for them to start working together.
Diversity to me is embracing differences, regardless of what those are, in order to create a common language that allows you to build something together. That, unfortunately, is not what I get when I hear “diversity” in most cases. I usually see or hear the term associated with something that is suddenly important, such as race or sexual identity, but rarely do I hear it as a broad synonym related to “building together.”
How can we facilitate diversity, when the term might be limited to an opportunistic approach? That, I believe, is a mighty challenge for anyone, especially for an introvert who in order to fit in had to force himself into being functional.