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   Leading in a diverse workplace: Lessons

        From diversity competent managers


                            John R. Aiello

                      Department of Psychology

             Rutgers – The State University of New Jersey

                             Kay Iwata

                       K. Iwata Associates, Inc.




        Presented at the Meetings of the American Psychological

               Association, Honolulu, Hawaii, July, 2004




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                                                    Introduction

Why Diversity-Competence?

         Domestically and globally, our workforce is rapidly becoming more diverse. This diversity is

demonstrated not only by culture, race, gender, and life-style but also by employee needs and expectations.

Customer – current and potential – are mirroring the same changes we see in the workforce. For many

organizations the competition for talent is intensifying. More companies are realizing they must

demonstrate clearly that people are one of their most valuable assets, that their employees represent a

competitive advantage.

         This creates a challenge. We must be able to deal with more, rather than fewer, diversity

dimensions. These dimensions impact the dynamics of the workplace. They create complexity and tension

along with the potential for innovation and creativity. Those who lead and manage this workplace

successfully possess unusual ability and skill. The resulting benefits to the organization have been

documented. Less is known, however, about the abilities and skills required of managers and leaders who

excel in a diverse workplace. Because it behooves organizations to increase knowledge in this area, the

following basic questions have been raised:

          What is it that Diversity-Competent managers and leaders do?

          Why and how do they do it?

          How can others learn to increase their Diversity-Competence?

         There is an increasing demand for more knowledge and insight into how managers and leaders

who excel at demonstrating Diversity-Competence do what they do. Those responsible for diversity in

their organizations are voicing the need for diversity skill building rather than awareness. The request often

comes in the form of such questions as, “how do we get the behavior change we need? We have done a lot

of training to build awareness but we don’t see a change in how our managers and leaders actually behave.”

Managers who have diverse teams are asking for help as they try to deal with diversity tension and conflict

management and attempt to maximize performance.

         One recently published study of the business case for diversity (The Effects of Diversity on

Business Performance: A Report of the Diversity Research Network, 2002) recommends more process skill



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building. According to the study, organizations without these skills will not be able, in the best-case

scenario, to maximize the potential benefits of a diverse workforce or, in the worst case, mitigate the

potential loss of productivity.

          American society today is a complex potpourri of different cultures and ethnicities. This trend is

projected to continue at an even faster pace in the 21 st century. This diversity is reflected in the workplace

as these members of society join the workforce, bringing with them their different experiences and skills.

With the continual increase in workplace diversity comes the need for ways to efficiently harness this

source of intellectual richness to drive an organization toward success. The term “diversity management”

is offered as an answer to this need and is continuing to gain notice and respect among those in Corporate

America and Europe. However, the question of how diversity management leads to organizational success,

and which type of diversity initiatives result in this success, begs to be answered. A number of studies

evaluating the managers, executives, and companies competent in diversity management provide some

insight into how the practices aligned with diversity management may ensure organizational success and

suggest possible ways to train managers and executives of organizations to ensure continual organizational

growth.

          The Workplace atmosphere has changed so much with a more visible presence of minorities and

women in the recent past, especially the past twenty years, that diversity management has become a key

component in the focus of many organizations. A study by McCabe and Stream (2000), which details

changes in diversity in the state and local workforce between 1980 and 1995, confirms the increase in the

percentages of minorities employed in these job positions, especially African-Americans and women. The

study’s results indicate that the workforce has become more diverse, and is, on average, less white and

more female in 1995 than it was in 1980. African Americans have increased their share of state and local

jobs from under 14 percent in 1980 to over 16 percent in 1995 (McCabe & Stream, 2000). African-

American women have played the key role in these job increases of this study, while the job rate for

African-American men has been somewhat steady. There has also been a significant increase in the

employee representation when considering other ethnic groups (e.g., Hispanics, Asians, and Middle-

easterners), although African-Americans and Hispanics especially are still underrepresented in many high-

skilled occupations. Things have also improved in several ways for women in the workforce. One of the




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primary objectives of diversity management has been to recruit and retain women and minorities by

reducing negative stereotypes for these viable candidates. The manner in which this problem of under-

representation has been tackled is characterized by two methodologies that deal with two different

directions of diversity management.

         The concept of diversity management itself has two perspectives. One is considered a narrow

range perspective in that is relies heavily on demographic census to advocate for a corrective action. Those

who adopt this perspective of diversity management argue that it is the demographic projections that must

be reflected in the workforce composition. The narrow concept puts a strong emphasis on race and gender.

Hence, the organizations that practice this form of diversity management attempt to recruit, retain, reward,

and promote minority and female employees (Ivancevich & Gilbert, 2000). However, many critics of this

view, including Roosevelt Thomas Jr. who introduced the term “managing diversity,” maintain that using a

narrow view of gender and race diversity would result in an incomplete transformation of organizational

culture (Ivancevich & Gilbert, 2000). Thomas (1992) advocates for the broader perspective of diversity.

         The broad definition of diversity management transcends the distinctions of race and gender. It is

defined as the commitment on the part of organizations to recruit, retain, reward, and promote a

“heterogeneous mix of productive, motivated, and committed workers including people of color, whites,

females, and the physically challenged” (Ivancevich & Gilbert, 2000). This view is supported by much of

the literature on diversity management and is seen as a practical view that can effectively convince the top

organizational executives to adopt. As Kevin Sullivan, the Vice-President of Apple Computer asserts,

diversity initiatives must be introduced as “business, not social work” to be effectively implemented

(Ivancevich & Gilbert, 2000). Ann Morrison, in her book New Leaders (199 ), presents such support to

the broad view of diversity management programs. She investigates the diversity programs implemented

by more than a dozen organizations via interviews and questionnaires. She observed effective

implementation and support for diversity initiatives in the top down management in these companies and

found that these diversity initiatives increased productivity, workplace satisfaction and competitiveness of

the companies. Eleven of the organizations in her study were ranked Fortune magazine to be among “the

most admired corporations,” while three of the firms won the Malcolm Baldrige Award for total quality




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management. Such studies confirm the links between broad based diversity management and

organizational success to researchers and executives alike.

         Another problem in following the narrow definition of diversity management has been the

backlash against it by those employees who do not fall into the category of being women or minorities.

Ellis and Sonnerfield (as cited in Ivancevich & Gilbert, 2000) however found that this problem is mitigated

by the use of broad-based diversity management. They measured the impact caused by diversity training in

two organizations via surveys. As a result, they found that this type of diversity management exposure

raised employees’ views of managerial concern about diversity and decreased their thoughts that minorities

were getting too much attention and convinced them that the company is concerned with their own

individual growth. Therefore, even employees are beginning to prefer broad-based diversity management

as opposed to the narrow definition. This is not to say that broad-based diversity management does not

take into consideration race and gender; indeed it does, but it also moves beyond these observable

differences. It includes the consideration of a less visible diversity, e.g., personality, education, religion,

area of specialty, background, and values. Thus, diversity management in its broad definition is far more

applicable and effective than its narrow definition.

A Field Study of Diversity-Competence

         There are numerous books, articles, and lists that identify a range of diversity competencies and

provide valuable insight into what it takes to demonstrate Diversity-competence. The conclusions drawn

are most often based upon the observations and experiences of the authors. But, there is only a limited

amount of field research. What needs to be added to this body of knowledge is more research-based

information generated by employees, managers, leaders, and their organizations. Hence, our decision to

design and implement a field research study to identify the what, why, and how of Diversity-Competent

managers and leaders.

         Although our focus is on individual competencies, they are not demonstrated in a vacuum. The

present study also examines the implications of organizational culture. The resulting assessment and

recommendations are drawn from what managers and leaders told us as well as from our knowledge and

experience of organizational culture audits and diversity strategies.




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         Members of our research teach are well-versed in the diversity field as researchers and

consultants. The overarching goal of the research project is to provide a guide and toolkit for managers,

leaders, and organizations to increase their diversity competence. Our primary objective is to

         1.   Identify, from employees’ perspectives, criteria for Diversity-Competent managers.

         2.   Increase understanding of why and how managers acquired these competencies.

         3.   Learn how the competencies can be taught to others.

A secondary objective is to identify what it is that the Diversity-Competent manager and leader does that

goes above and beyond good management and good leadership practices.

What Employees Say

         In the first phase of our study, rather than base the criteria on our own observations and experience

in the field, we took a customer service approach. We decided that the “customers” were the employees.

Diversity Council members and diversity-savvy insiders from sixteen organizations, representing a broad

spectrum of industry sectors, provided us with input.

         From our experience working with numerous Diversity Councils we know that these councils are

generally very diverse. Not only are the traditional dimensions of race and gender represented but they also

tend to have a very good mix of functional groups or job classifications, levels (i.e., management/non-

management), lines of business, and union/nonunion members. With this diverse mix of respondents, we

are able to capture a broad perspective of input on the criteria.

         The Diversity Councils identified five criteria they believe need to be met for qualification as a

Diversity-Competent manager. We provided our definition of managing diversity in order to create a

common context for their input. We defined managing diversity as the ability of the manager to identify,

develop, motivate, and fully utilize the talents and skills of a diverse group of employees, resulting in high

performance and achievement of organizational goals.

         These data were collapsed, analyzed, and categorized by theme. What emerged are five POWER

competencies. Diversity Competent Managers are

          Proactive advocates of diversity

          Optimum people developers

          Willing to innovate



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          Exemplary values-based leaders

          Results-through-people driven.

Diversity-Competent Managers are…

1.   Proactive advocates of diversity

     Diversity-Competent Managers champion behaviors, practices, and strategies that leverage the

     competitive advantage of diversity. They are true believers in the value of diversity both from an

     intrinsic and business perspective. Their actions consistently reflect their commitment to diversity,

     causing others to view them as “Champions of Diversity”.

     Proactive advocates of diversity:

        Challenge behaviors, practices, and strategies that do not align with a diversity friendly

         environment and support those that do

        Communicate the diversity message to all segments of the organization

        Recruit, select and retain a visibly diverse work force

        Structure team interactions to promote an understanding of the value of all the various dimensions

         of diversity



2.   Optimum people developers

     Diversity-Competent Managers are people developers who effectively encourage, motivate and

     empower a broad spectrum of individuals to grow and develop. These managers are able to recognize

     and leverage the unique skill sets and talents that each individual contributes to the organization. They

     are active listeners, keen relationship builders and have the ability to match talent to task.

     Optimum people developers:

        Operate outside the box by looking to create new resources and utilize talent beyond what a

         person’s resume states

        Advocate for open discussions among leaders and employees on how to utilize and maximize each

         person's unique skills and experiences toward personal and business success

        Have a genuine appreciation and respect for people of all backgrounds, communication styles, and

         approaches to meeting business needs



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3.   Willing to innovate

     Diversity-Competent Managers demonstrate a sense of intellectual and emotional curiosity. This

     curiosity drives their openness to new and different ideas and willingness to innovate. People of

     differing backgrounds and perspectives feel listened to and included. New ways of doing things are

     encouraged.

     Willing Innovators:

        Engage in inclusive and open discussions to experiment with new ideas

        Lack the fear of "failing forward" if an idea doesn't work

        Develop "peripheral vision" of multiple perspectives

        Listen carefully to alternative ways of seeing and doing

        Challenge their own limiting assumptions and beliefs

        Adapt and improvise to be effective with others and develop relationships



4.   Exemplary value- based leaders

     Diversity-Competent Managers are guided by their integrity and courage. They lead by example and

     consistently do the right thing. They are known for their honesty and have high credibility in the

     organization. In the face of adversity, they hold firm to their principles. They mirror integrity by doing

     what they say they are going to do when they say they will do it.

     Exemplary values-based decision makers:

        Challenge the status quo when it is not aligned with requirements

        Adhere to their core values and principles consistently

        Communicate with honesty and integrity, avoiding "smoke and mirrors"

        Confront and address difficult issues



5.   Result- through-people Achievers




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    Diversity-Competent Managers are focused on “getting things done” through people. They do so by

    setting clear expectations; providing relevant, consistent feedback; holding themselves as well as

    others accountable; and providing sincere recognition for a job well done.

    Results through People Driven Achievers:

        Demonstrate a willingness to hold people to high standards

        Establish measurable performance objectives and realistic development plans

        Deliver honest and direct performance feedback with a balanced focus on praise and constructive

         criticism

        Hold individuals accountable with fairness and consistency

        Recognize and reward results and desired behaviors

So how did these POWER competencies align with being “good managers” in today’s environment?



Meeting Today’s “Good Manager” Requirements

Regardless of the industry sector, businesses face five critical trends.

    1.   Change is occurring faster than ever

    2.   Employees don't have the same loyalty that they did in the past, thus it is harder to attract and

         retain good people

    3.   The talent pool is becoming increasingly diverse along many dimensions of diversity.

    4.   The business environment is becoming increasingly global and

    5.   Customers are becoming more sophisticated and demanding

These trends create a need for managers who not only have the basic prerequisites to manage, but also

possess a second-tier of competencies. In reviewing the current business literature describing competencies

of the 21st century manager, what emerges is a hybrid of managerial and leadership qualities. When

Opposites Dance Balancing the Manager and Leader Within by Williams and Deal (200 ) speaks to the

challenges of this hybrid model. The result is an additional set of questions that need to be asked and

answered when evaluating the performance of current managers and making selection decisions about

future managers.




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          Are these individuals, flexible and able to respond to the complexity of a constantly changing

          landscape?

          Can they create a sense of vision and mission to help employees feel there is meaning and

          stability in their work?

          Are they able to attract and retain a diverse (along many dimensions of diversity) workforce,

          who may have, not only different, but much higher expectations than in the past?

          Do they have the peripheral vision to see the global implications of their business?

          Are they constantly seeking to understand and therefore better serve their current customers, as

          well as potential future customers?

When comparing the descriptions of the POWER competencies with the questions we've posed above there

appear to be a good fit. In other words, if managers and leaders were demonstrating the behaviors identified

in the POWER competencies, they would have greater capacity to respond to the five critical trends

affecting their working environment.

So yes, they certainly would be good managers and leaders. But, what about the idea of these individuals

bringing something “above and beyond” to the organization? To answer that question, we move to the

findings from the second phase of our field study.



What Managers and Leaders Say

          In the second phase of our study, we went back to the original organizations. Twelve of the

original sixteen and two additional organizations decided to participate for a total of fourteen sources.

          The organizations that opted not to participate in this phase of the study did so not because of any

disagreement with the POWER competencies. Rather, they were engaged in organizational change

activities that made it difficult to reach managers for interviews. Using the POWER competencies as the

criteria, we asked Diversity Councils and other diversity-savvy contacts within the organizations to identify

managers who met the criteria. Our goal was to interview a total of 100 mangers from the various

organizations. We were pleased to find that our final count was 138 interviews. This is our source for the

what, why, and how of Diversity-Competence that is shared in this paper.




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         We did not specify any type of demographic profile in terms of who was selected. The design

called for participants to feel totally free to identify any manager they deemed Diversity-Competent. The

resulting profile of the managers that were interviewed was interesting in and of itself.

         In phase two of the data collection, trained professional interviewers conducted 138 structured,

telephone interviews of individuals identified by their companies/organizations as highly qualified,

diversity competent managers. Interviews ranged from 35 to 85 minutes in length. Transcripts of these

interviews were then coded by a team of coders with reliabilities among coders in excess of .90. In

addition to the quantitative analyses, examples of quotes that illustrate the points most frequently

mentioned by the respondents were captured.

         These managers and leaders (as it turned out) were well seasoned. 71% had 11 years or more of

managerial experience. 49% identified themselves as middle management, 45% as senior or executive

management and 6% as supervisors or team leaders. 63% were men of which 24% were men of color. 37%

were women of which 7% were women of color.

         As it turned out, our roster of interviewees was somewhat balanced in terms of representation at

the managerial ranks. We thought it noteworthy that white males were well represented in the sampling

(39%). At times white males may feel that they are considered to be the "problem" when it comes to

diversity. What our study seems to indicate is that white males are playing a very vital role in being part of

the solution.

         What follows is a summary of the findings. This report was based upon a frequency and first level

content analysis of responses from the interviews.

Validating the Five POWER Competencies

         The respondents to the survey validated the five POWER competencies selected as describing the

actions and to a great degree the beliefs of Diversity-Competent Managers. Exemplary Values Based

Leaders was the most consistently and strongly supported of the competencies by the experiences of the

respondents. The most mixed perceptions were around the connection between the Results Driven

competency and managing diversity.

         In reviewing the responses, what surfaced around Results Driven were the historically negative

experiences of many managers of the “results at all costs” push in organizations. These managers do get




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results in terms of job performance for themselves and others but the “at all cost” experiences created

conflict on how managers rated this competency. As a result of this learning we changed this competency

to Results through People. It is a much more accurate description of what the data describe in Phase 1 when

we were establishing the criteria.




Table 1. Respondents’ quantitative levels of agreement with the criteria are noted below.



                                                   % of                          % of
Competency
                                                   High Agreement                Somewhat Agreement

1. Proactive Advocate of Diversity                 95%                           5%

2. Optimum People Developer                        92.9%                         7.1%

3. Willing to Innovate                             87.9%                         12.1%

4. Exemplary Values Based Leader                   97.1%                         2.9%

5.Results through People                           65.7%                         31.4%

*Note the explanation above as to why this

came in so low.




Major Areas of Responsibility

         Respondents, primarily see themselves as motivating, guiding and developing employees to meet

business objectives. They appear to be working under a personal value system of "results are achieved

through people." A representative practice is the linking of people development initiatives with long-term

strategies of the company and annual business goals.




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Greatest Sense of Satisfaction as a Manager

          The processes of helping people grow, seeing them accomplish results on their own and progress

through their careers is the respondents’ greatest sources of satisfaction. They report personal validation in

observing the overall competency of individuals and the organization improve, and they gain great

satisfaction when they “walk out the door, and things go on without them”.

Proactive Advocate of Diversity

          Respondents report that when “diversity is done right” - fully optimizing people’s talents and

working together for a common cause, the productivity of the organization improves. Personal experiences

in their developmental years appear to be the primary influence for many respondents in acquiring this

point of view.

Examples of practices “they do” to instill this perspective are:

 Constantly communicating their diversity vision and looking for examples of positive business results to

  share

 Focusing on true business requirements versus personal or organizational preferences when making

  decisions

 Leading by example – they do what they ask others to do

Optimum People Developer

          The perspective of many of the respondents is that proactively developing people provides three

sets of related benefits. It allows for current business objectives to be met more effectively; it creates a

talent pool for the organization to prosper long-term; and, it provides for individual employee growth that

leads to higher employee initiative and enthusiasm. Personal experiences in their own work careers, where

they benefited from managers who helped them succeed, appears to be a major driver for respondents in

thinking that developing people is a managers’ responsibility.



The respondents see their personal competencies in the following behaviors.

 Genuine appreciation and respect for people of all backgrounds and skills

 Being comfortable working outside the box and being seen as different




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 Ability to create an environment for open discussions around business issues and employees’

  competencies and weaknesses

 Looking more at people’s abilities and less at their experiences in hiring and promotional decisions

 Role modeling and coaching others

Willing to Innovate

         The general perspective of all the respondents around the benefits of being open to new ideas is

that maximum input allows for the best output. Personal experiences are again the primary drivers for this

point of view. Respondents cited experiences of “being the odd person out,” and not being listened to;

experiences of not being right and realizing the benefits of alternative points of view first hand; and,

exposure to other managers and family members who were open to listening to new ideas.



Examples of practices the respondents do are:

 Engage in inclusive and open discussion where they look at an issue from differing perspectives

 Set expectations that allow the dialogue to move into decision-making and actions plans

 Being curious and listening carefully to alternative ways of seeing and doing

 Challenging personal assumptions of others and themselves

 Not being afraid to fail, and making others feel safe to contribute

Exemplary Values Based Leader

         Respondents report that people need to trust and respect a leader before they follow them. They

cite the importance of consistency, honesty, integrity, fairness and courage. They relate how important it is

to give people the truth even if they do not like it. By being open and honest, people will know where they

stand with you, and recognize that you are subject to mistakes that you are willing to learn from. Integrity,

means to the respondents, that you do what you say, and courage means that you challenge the status quo

when it is not aligned with requirements.



Examples of practices the respondents do are:

 Consistently adhering to their own set of personal core values

   o Not sure whether this can be taught except by the actions of the company and its leaders




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 Realizing the importance of personally relating to people in one-on-one conversations and not

  embarrassing people in front of a group

 Leading by example and teaching by actions

Results through People Driven

         Personal experiences are again the primary drivers for this point of view. They cite how their own

motivation was reduced when they felt misunderstood. They also remembered managers who were results

driven at any cost and they remembered the pain and the loss of productivity. The more positive

experiences were with parents, professors or managers who helped them in bringing out their best.



Examples of practices respondents do are:

 Holding people to high standards

 Clearly setting goals / expectations and establishing monitoring systems

 Communicating that they are partnering with direct employees to ensure their success

 Being factual versus subjective when providing employee feedback

 Holding themselves as well as their team accountable for results

Pearls of Wisdom

  The “pearls of wisdom” that respondents cited to pass onto a son or daughter were primarily based on

understanding themselves, and then working from that base in how they relate to others in the work place.



Examples of recommendations are:

 Manage your own perceptions and question own biases

 Listen to understand

 Understand your success is tied to everyone else’s success

 Surround yourself with people different from yourself, so you can learn from them and stimulate new

  thought processes

Biggest Managing Diversity Challenges

         Respondents cite a wide range of challenges. A consistent theme is the difficulty of overcoming

the perspective that diversity is primarily about race, quotas or Affirmative Action. They note that many




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people have “dug in” ideas, and do not see diversity as a business opportunity. People see it as an HR or

legal initiative, and that the first step is to help people understand the broader sense of what diversity is all

about.

Overall

          Respondents, primarily see themselves as motivating, guiding and developing employees to meet

business objectives. They appear to be working under a personal value system of "results are achieved

through people." They report personal validation watching the overall competency of individuals and the

organization improve, and they gain satisfaction when they “walk out the door, and things go on without

them”. There also appears to be a common personal belief around group effort being more important than

individual effort for achieving results.

          Personal experiences were the key influences upon respondents in reinforcing their perspectives.

They cited family members (particularly fathers), teachers and managers they worked under in their own

careers as important models. They also noted that defining moments, with mistakes and successes in their

own careers, influenced the development of their management principles and practices.

          Respondents cited many concrete examples of what they “do well” that leads others to identify

them as Diversity-Competent Managers. We will methodically review these behaviors and practices in our

Level 2 Content Analysis, but for the purposes of this overview, the following examples are noted.

Leadership

   Constantly communicating diversity vision and looking for examples of positive business results to

    share

   Focusing on true business requirements versus personal or organizational preferences when making

    decisions

   Role modeling and coaching others on desired behaviors

Communication

   Engage in inclusive and open discussions to look at issues from differing perspectives

   Being factual versus subjective when providing employee feedback

   Realizing the importance of personally relating to people in one-on-one conversations

Personal Behaviors



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   Consistently adhering to own set of personal core values

   Manage your own perceptions and question own biases

   Genuine appreciation and respect for people of all backgrounds and skills

What Stood Out: “Above and Beyond”

         So what did stand out? What did these Diversity-Competent managers and leaders do that seemed

“above and beyond”? Although we are still engaged in content analysis on a deeper level, there are

competencies and perspectives, which are already apparent. First, although developing people is a

requirement of a good manager, these Diversity-Competent managers and leaders have an extraordinary

passion in terms of developing people. It is woven into so much of how they operate in the world that it

appeared in a majority of their responses even though the questions were different. One of the quotes that

best describe this particular perspective is, "I see a bigger picture for my employees than they often times

see for themselves.”

         The second distinguishing characteristic is a genuine intellectual and emotional curiosity about

difference. They approach difference and what they don't understand in a non-judgmental way. When

encountering something new or different, rather than jumping to a right/wrong or good/bad paradigm they

seek to understand. I had the good fortune to do a diversity presentation with the actor and humanitarian,

Danny Glover. The presentation was being given right after the incident in New York City, when Glover

was unable to get a taxi to stop because he was a black man. He asked if he could speak to some of the taxi

drivers. He did so, not out of anger but out of a sense of wanting to understand and create understanding.

         A third distinction was the ability to provide “straight talk”. Two frequently mentioned areas were

communicating what was going on with work and the company and providing constructive feedback.

Much of this ability was tied to the POWER competency, “Exemplary Values-based Leader”. Honesty,

integrity and trust were the key attributes that were attached to this competency.

         The fourth distinguishing perspective held by these managers and leaders was how they viewed

teamwork. They invested time and energy to make sure that the team structure was very inclusive of all

members. They did not believe in the “star” system or the “80-20 rule” (80% of the work is done by 20 %

of the people) rather they felt a greater rate of return would be generated from a total team effort. They

were willing to invest the time needed to get everyone involved and engaged.



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          Last but not least, these managers believed in the business case for diversity. They did not hesitate

to advocate for a diverse workforce with both visible and invisible dimensions. Their advocacy was based

upon previous experiences of seeing the benefits diversity brought to their organizations. They challenge

systems practices, policies and behaviors, which would take away from creating a diversity friendly culture.

Four operational values that Diversity-Competent managers and leaders used to guide their actions were:

          The best way to win is through people

          Managing diversity produces positive business outcomes

          Teamwork is number one

          Authentic relationships are key

      Do they walk on water? Those we interviewed would be quick to respond with an absolutely not.

Much of what they have learned has been through the mistakes and failures they have experienced. Are

they still learning how to be more diversity-competent? According to their own words they “learn

something new everyday”. Do they still find themselves diversity challenged when encountering the new

or different? Everyone has their “hot buttons” and they are just as human as anyone else.

In Sum and Next Steps

          So what is the “above and beyond” of a Diversity-Competent manager and leader? A passionate

belief in the importance of developing people, high integrity and honesty, intellectual and emotional

curiously about difference, 100% engagement on teams, and a keen understanding of and advocacy for the

benefits of diversity.

          Our next steps with the research were twofold: to identify the “how to” of these competencies and

to . How can others learn and demonstrate these essential competencies? How can organizations foster

work cultures, which naturally develop these kinds of competencies in their managers and leaders? This is

where the greatest benefit of our study resides and where we are currently focusing our energies.

          In a third and final phase of the coding, interview responses were coded into four motivational

categories pertaining to the operant conditioning base of a motivational taxonomy with the acronym PACK

(see Ogilvie, Rose, & Heppen, 2001). The motive Acquire is the desire to obtain a positive outcome.

Cure is the desire to remove an existing negative condition. Prevent is the desire to avoid a negative




                                                      18
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outcome and Keep is the desire to avoid the loss of a currently existing positive condition. Interview rater

reliabilities of this coding averaged .85.

         A fundamental tenet of operant conditioning is that the frequency of a behavioral response is

contingent on the consequences of the action taken. Behavior can be followed by a positive reinforcer, a

negative reinforcer, positive punishment, and negative punishment. What managers and leaders do to

establish and maintain a diversity friendly environment would seem crucial to organizational success. For

example, when they respond with a positive reinforcer (e.g., a smile, nod, or raise), it is likely to strengthen

that response. The motive acquire parallels positive reinforcement. Cure is derived form negative

reinforcement. Prevent is the motivational companion to positive punishment. Keep is a desire to avoid the

loss of a currently existing positive condition. If a condition is part of a diversity friendly environment and

therefore is viewed as desirable (positive) action may be taken to keep it. If it is considered undesirable

(negative), a manager may wish to get rid of it – to cure it. In the event that something doesn’t exist and the

manager wants it to exist, acquire is the motive of choice. However, when something is absent in the

workplace and is construed to be negative, action may be taken by the manager to prevent it from coming

into existence.

         Tables 2-5 summarize the results of applying this taxonomy to the top 10 examples provided by

the 138 managers for the Proactive advocates of diversity competency. Tables 6-9 present the top 10

examples for the Optimum people developers competency. Top examples of the Willing to innovate

category are listed in Tables 10-13. Tables 14-17 indicate the 10 top examples of Exemplary values-based

leaders and Tables 18-21 give the top 10 examples for the Results-through-people driven competency. As

can be seen, the application of this taxonomy provides a very encouraging example of how we can further

differentiate the interview responses of the diversity-competent managers. The utility of this additional

approach is seen as offering new and veteran managers practical strategies and suggestions for becoming

more diversity-competent.




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 Table 2.       A = (Acquire): What do you do to create a diverse team?
 Categories


 Proactive
                1. Communicate the diversity message to all segments of the organization
 advocates of
 Diversity      2. Recruit, select and retain a diverse work force

                3. Treat people with respect.

                4. Create a learning environment and a comfort zone where it’s ok to be wrong,
                to disagree, to search for and integrate the best of the best ideas.

                5. Able to communicate well with all nationalities
                   - Bonus: Able to speak other languages

                6. Ability to recruit people that like to take risks and help the business strategy.

                7. Ensure that receive wide variety of employees and encourage others to do the
                same. Have behavior based interviewing skills. Coach people to do the same.

                8. Role model behavior.

                9. Develop a program that aids in looking for different skills and talent.

                10. Have organization go to Universities to target groups for diversity (e.g.
                women coming into powertrain engineering).




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 Table 3.
 Proactive      1. Challenge behaviors, practices, and strategies that do not align
                with a diversity friendly environment and support those that do
 advocates of
 Diversity      2. Recruit, select and retain a diverse work force

                3. Willingness to listen/promote (talk to individuals and find out
                about interests/talents/goals. Recognize their strengths to apply to
                their job and weaknesses to work on.
                4. Treat everyone fairly. Showing favoritism is very obvious. Be
                straight with all employees.


                5. Treating People with Respect
                * Avoid Ego Battles
                * "Be a leader rather than boss"
                * Value all opinions/ideas



                7. Use Growth Motivation rather than fear or incentive motivation
                Everyone wants to be considered the best at what they do.


                8. Try to engage people about why they think the way they do. I
                suggest other ways of thinking about a process or person. Help
                people understand barriers.

                9. Avoid stereotyping - don't make assumptions.




 Categories     K = (Keep): System that works




 Table 4.
 Categories            C = (Cure): How do you handle anti-diversity issues?




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 Proactive      1. Confront any anti-diversity issues that may arise. Do not tolerate
 advocates of   even through failure to address.
 Diversity      2. Challenge behaviors, practices, and strategies that do not align
                with a diversity friendly environment and support those that do.



                4. Have employees participate in diversity training that effectively
                helps them confront their own narrow views and values.

                5. Encourage employees to listen to their coworkers and develop
                multiple perspectives.

                6. Managers must be willing to tackle and work on any issues that
                may arise.

                7. Continue to make employees aware of the range of diversity.

                8. Encourage employees to challenge their coworkers.

                9. Hold individuals accountable.

                10. Encourage employees to speak up and voice any discomfort
                regarding diversity.




 Table 5.       P = (Prevent): Things that get in the way of a diverse team. / What do you


                                          22
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 Categories     do to prevent diversity issues?



 Proactive
 advocates of   1. Challenge behaviors, practices, and strategies that do not align
 Diversity      with a diversity friendly environment and support those that do

                2. One thing that is critically important is the common purpose in
                the team. If there is not a clear interest in a common outcome, they
                will be unwilling to do the hard work.

                3. Structure team interactions to promote an understanding of the
                value of diversity

                4. Ability to listen. If we start out thinking we have all the answers
                we are in trouble.

                5. Prevent the challenging aspect by prefacing. It is less about
                challenging if you lay down the structure and guidelines from the
                beginning.

                6. Tell team what things to be proactive about and to stay away
                from. Bring up behaviors that don’t with a diversity environment
                and tell that that they aren’t the company’s policy and they
                personally don’t sit well with you. Your staff can learn early on that
                this is not the path they should take.

                7. Always learning and be open to it. Always try to improve yourself
                and your interactions w/others.

                8. When you are interviewing, don't be quick to make a decision
                right away. Those quick decisions are based on how they are like
                you. This is rapport building. It will not yield diversity if you base a
                decision on rapport. We quickly respond to people like ourselves.
                Don't make decisions until the end of the interview.

                9. Focus on the behavioral issues for interviews. Think about how
                they meet the requirements of the job. Find out from them what
                they are passionate about, the strengths they bring to the job, are
                they excited about the company and what they will bring to the
                team. You need good training on behavioral interviews. Look past
                what they look like and how they communicate.

                10. Consciously try to overcome our perceptions of our own
                prejudices, biases, accents and communication issues. We try to
                remember that and we will all get more comfortable



 Table 6.
                A = (Acquire): What do you do to create a diverse team?
 Categories




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 Optimum      1. Have a genuine appreciation,support and respect for
 people       people of all backgrounds, communication styles, and
 developers   approaches to meeting business needs.

              2. Advocate for open discussions among leaders and
              employees on how to utilize and maximize each person's
              unique skills and experiences towards personal and
              business success .

              3. Establish good communication relationships with your
              employees.

              4. It is important to model behavior and create an
              environment where it is possible to operate outside the box.



              6. Give people the right experiences. Put them in situations
              where they are uncomfortable and then help them deal with it
              to get them out of their comfort zone.

              7. When teaching, explain the direction the company is
              going and that diversity is a key element of this direction.

              8. Always look for opportunities to team people up for
              projects, keeping their unique talents in mind, including
              diverse areas of expertise. For example, teaming up a junior
              designer who has little animation experience but strong
              technical background, with a senior designer with extensive
              animation skills with a weaker technical background

              9. Utilize people’s talent beyond their resume.

              10. Be good and careful with recruiting.




 Table 7.
 Categories                  K = (Keep): System that works.




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 Optimum
              1. Have a genuine appreciation and respect for people of all
 people
              backgrounds, communication styles, and approaches to
 developers
              meeting business needs.

              2. Coaching, giving positive and constructive feedback and
              understanding and enabling career interests & opportunities
              for employees is key role.

              3. Advocate for open discussions among leaders and
              employees on how to utilize and maximize each person's
              unique skills and experiences towards personal and business
              success.

              4. When you come into an organization in
              order to be successful you need everyone-you
              want to develop people and capitalize on
              their strengths.

              5. Operate outside the box by looking to create new
              resources and utilize talent beyond what a person’s resume
              states.

              6. Delegate people and challenge them to continue to make
              improvements
              7. Promote a diverse staff; assure that actions support
              words.

              8. Teach others by modeling and teaching by example.

              9. INVOLV EMPLOYEES! Involve them in
              meetings where important issues are
              discussed.

              10. Professional and technical training has been the critical
              factor to success.




 Table 8.
 Categories          C = (Cure): How do you handle anti-diversity issues?



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 Optimum      1. Do not tolerate ANY anti-diversity issues that may
 people       arise.
 developers
              2. Always motivate your group. When your group is de-
              motivated, you lose confidence in them and take on
              more work.

              3. When mistakes happen, let people work through it.
              When you let people experiment, others may make
              suggestions to let it work. Chances are you will end up
              with something better and new and others will feel a part
              of it.

              4. Challenge people to perform different task.

              5. Talk about any problematic. You have to listen to
              your team. Find out WHY things do and don’t work.

              6. Making your employees more familiar with their
              group and understand where the group is coming from.

              7. Helping that weak member get strong is what will
              make the greatest difference.

              8. Work experience. Keep asking for suggestions and
              new ideas and pretty soon your group will really take
              over and improve the operations.

              9. Send supervisors to training programs to strengthen
              weaknesses or deficiencies.

              10. Be available to your employees. Have an open door
              policy for any inconvenience your workers have.




 Table 9.     P = (Prevent): Things that get in the way of a diverse team. / What do you



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 Categories   do to prevent diversity issues?



 Optimum      1. The supervisor has to believe in the vision of
 people       diversity. If it is not built into the vision, you will not be
 developers   able to develop people. If the manager does not see the
              value of diversity as part of people development.

              2. It is important to be open-minded.

              3. IT’S TRUE THAT NOT EVERYONE IS EQUAL IN THEIR
              ABILITIES, BUT EVERYONE SHOULD AT LEAST HAVE
              THE CHANCE TO WORK THROUGH IT BECAUSE THEY
              HAVE SOMETHING TO GIVE AND GAIN.

              4. Operating outside the box- issue of courage and
              dedication to not limiting yourself or others : Have to
              care and value people and put yourself in their place

              5. One of the ways you can teach it is by focusing on
              competency versus experience.

              6. you have to look for what people are saying and what
              they are doing versus assuming and using your own
              assumptions

              7. I know I’m not getting the best from people if they are
              all doing it the same way

              8. Promote the idea that just because we have done
              something one way, it doesn’t always have to be done
              that way

              9. Seeing other managers have expectations or beliefs
              about other people and NOT offering them the tools to
              accomplish that task

              10. Lack of delegation/development from personal
              experience-leads to burn out/fatigue




 Table 10.
              A = (Acquire): What do you do to create a diverse team?
 Categories




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Willing to Innovate


          1. You learn everyday by others’ ideas. One must pursue learning
          daily/hourly. Always be open to new ways. New ideas come from
          Listening

          2. Create an environment that lets people give opinions and thoughts -
          they’ll want to participate if you are receptive to new ideas. What may
          be silly to some people may be just the thing that is needed to provide a
          breakthrough

          3. Lack the fear of "failing forward" if an idea doesn't work

          4. I THINK IT IS IMPORTANT TO MODEL IT

          5. It is like a green light. There are no sacred cows and no idea is
          ridiculous. Everyone is included. Get everyone there. No preconceived
          ideas. Everything is open to discussion

          6. You have to ask others how you are doing or you will never grow

          7. By experiencing the input from others regarding new ideas and opinions
          and perspectives  broadens your experience  gain respect for the
          differences and recognize the benefit of more/different ideas.
          Having had experience in receiving this input  encourages us to look for more,
          we need diversity

          8.Establish a common clarity of purpose. Solicit ideas from the different
          parties – especially those that have been doing the work the longest.
          Support those activities.

          9. We do this through our people development – like Myers Briggs.
          Exercises that help people understand that people are very different. If
          people are diversity aware and they take some of these courses, it would
          help. But probably not in one course. This is back to diversity
          awareness training

          10. A lot of what people do wrong is sending the message the wrong
          way. You don’t communicate live changes in e-mail. You need to sit
          down and look them in the eye. Communication is important. Help
          soften the blow.




 Table 11.
 Categories                             K = (Keep): System that works.



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              1. Listen carefully to alternative ways of seeing and
 Willing to   doing(30)
 Innovate
              2. Lack the fear of "failing forward" if an idea doesn't work
              (22)

              3. Develops “peripheral vision” of multiple perspectives
              (10)

              4. Challenges limiting assumptions and beliefs (13)

              5. Engage in inclusive and open discussions to experiment
              with new ideas(28)

              6. Adapt and improvise to be effective with others and
              develop relationships (17)


              7. He teaches this by modeling and coaching others to
              be aware of others’ perspectives and try to understand
              what may be causing you to not value their ideas.

              8. Adheres to core values and principles (3).

              9. Must be willing to try new things, show and
              encourage more inclusiveness get things out in the
              open and give others a chance to ask questions and
              understand.

              10. Be an active listener – try to understand the other
              person’s point of view and their feelings




 Table 12.           C = (Cure): How do you handle anti-diversity issues?
 Categories




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              1. Never accept, “that’s the way we’ve always done it.”
 Willing to
 Innovate
              2. Listen more than you talk so you can understand
              someone’s point of view.

              3. Don’t judge a book by its cover

              4. He has seen the frustration that comes from not
              receiving feedback.

              5. challenge limiting assumptions

              6. Seeing other managers have expectations or beliefs
              about other people and NOT offering them the tools to
              accomplish that task

              7. If I don’t create a comfortable environment, I may be
              missing a really creative idea, because someone shut
              down

              8. Retention is the real challenge.

              9. I saw as I got into it (Diversity) I saw my own
              prejudices.

              10. TO DO THE RIGHT THING AND SPEAK UP IF
              SOMETHING ISN’T RIGHT – EVEN IF IT DOESN’T
              IMPACT ME.




 Table 13.    P = (Prevent): Things that get in the way of a diverse team. / What do you
 Categories   do to prevent diversity issues?




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 Willing to   1. Listen carefully to alternative ways of seeing and
 Innovate     doing.There is a balance to be struck between
              considering different directions. Openness is a
              tremendously valuable thing. There is a balance to be
              achieved between progress and consideration of all of
              the ideas

              2. Practice “cognizant listening”, which basically means
              you don’t assume you know what the other person is
              going to say before they say it

              3. The approach of hierarchical condescension is
              invalid, and counterproductive

              4. Challenges your own limiting assumptions and
              beliefs

              5. There is a disease called “group think” when there is
              no diversity.

              6. Solicit multiple perspectives or develop multiple scenarios
              and options—Never allow only one solution to a problem

              7. Be willing to restrain your critical tendencies.

              8. SOMETIMES YOU WILL BELIEVE SOMETHING ABOUT
              SOMEONE AND MISS WHAT HE OR SHE HAS TO OFFER
              IF YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO INNOVATE

              9. Don’t let your comfort with success make you
              stagnant.

              10. ―Dumbing down‖ everything to avoid mistakes stifles
              innovation and progress. You have got to be willing to take
              risks and challenge conventional wisdom when something
              new is put on the table.




 Table 14.    A = (Acquire): What do you do to create a diverse team?
 Categories



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 Exemplary      1. Treat others the way you want to be treated.
 values based
 leaders        2. Always listen to your employees and see what they value.

                3. Encourage others to speak up about any issues they may
                have.

                4. Model desired behavior by teaching by example.

                5. Communicate with your team effectively.

                6. Support your team and their full potential.

                7. Deliver messages, especially the bad ones, in an open
                and honest way.

                8. Leaders should manage with integrity.

                9. Challenge the status quo because you want people to be
                all they can be.

                10. Confront and address difficult issues early.




 Table 15.
 Categories                    K = (Keep): System that works.



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 Exemplary
 values based   1. Deliver direct feedback with a balanced focus on praise
 leaders        and constructive criticism.

                2. Host open discussions frequently among your employees
                and be open to the values they bring to the table.

                3. Communicate with honesty and integrity.

                4. Maintain a sense of fairness among the employees.

                5. Recognize and reward results and desired behaviors.

                6. Challenge the status quo when it is not aligned with the
                requirements.

                7. Confront and address difficult issues as soon as they
                arise.

                8. Adhere to core values and principles consistently.

                9. Lead by example. Model the behavior you would like
                within your company.

                10. Establish measurable performance objectives and
                realistic development plans.




 Table 16.
 Categories       C = (Cure): How do you handle anti-diversity issues?




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 Exemplary
 values based   1. Address issues and problems earlier so they may be
 leaders        easier to handle.

                2. Communicate effectively.

                3. Encourage the confronting and addressing of issues.

                4. Everyone needs to contribute and recognize the value
                of diversity.

                5. Accept change and adapt.

                6. Value others’ diversity and communication styles.

                7. Do not tolerate anti-diversity acts.

                8. Challenge the status quo when it is not aligned with
                requirements.

                9. Give employees feedback on their performance.

                10. Teach by example.




 Table 17.      P = (Prevent): Things that get in the way of a diverse team. / What do you
 Categories     do to prevent diversity issues?




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 Exemplary
 values based   1. Managers should challenge their own limiting
 leaders        assumptions and beliefs, therefore, be open and acceptable
                to new ideas.

                2. Gain your employees’ respect by communicating with
                honesty and integrity.

                3. Deliver direct feedback with a balanced focus on praise
                and constructive criticism.

                4. Do not doubt people’s values or views for they may not
                want to speak up next time.

                5. Maintain a sense of fairness and consistency within a
                diverse group.

                6. Encourage your employees to work as a team. Do not
                tolerate those who stray from the group.

                7. Trust your employees as you would want them to
                trust you.

                8. Solicit ideas and opinions from employees.

                9. Believe in what you are doing for your company.

                10. Do not deal with difficult issues unless you have all
                the facts.




 Table 18.      A = (Acquire): What do you do to create a diverse team?
 Categories




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                  1.You have to have different ways of thinking – different
 Results-driven   types of people on your staff. You have to be mindful of this
                  vast changing audience.

                  2. Need to work well and communicate effectively with a
                  diverse range of people to consistently succeed.

                  3. You need to establish the standards clearly at the
                  beginning and hold people accountable.

                  4. That involves having open discussions regarding
                  what needs to be achieved

                  5. The more you allow people to contribute (which is what
                  they naturally want to do) they will get the results

                  6. If we are going to continue to have results, we have to get
                  the right people in the right places

                  7.Results are based on sound planning and execution.
                  Diverse input to planning process can increase odds of
                  success (Best Practices Emerge).

                  8. IF YOU TREAT PEOPLE RIGHT IT BECOMES A WIN-
                  WIN FOR THE TEAM

                  9. Having a workforce that mirrors our customer base
                  (public). It gives us the ability to relate to our customers

                  10. I THINK THAT HAVING MULTIPLE OPINIONS IS
                  GREAT – IT CAN ONLY ENHANCE THE WAY YOU LOOK
                  AT THINGS AS A TEAM.




 Table 19
 Categories                      K = (Keep): System that works.




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 Results-driven   1. Have a genuine appreciation and respect for people of all
                  backgrounds.

                  2. Deliver honest and direct performance feedback with a
                  balanced focus on praise and constructive criticism.

                  3. Recognize and reward results and desired behaviors.

                  4 . Advocate for open discussions among leaders and
                  employees on how to utilize and maximize each person’s
                  skills and experience towards personal and business
                  success.

                  5. Hold individuals accountable with fairness and
                  consistency.

                  6. Demonstrate a willingness to hold people to high
                  standards.

                  7. Establish measurable performance objectives and
                  realistic development plans.

                  8. Communicate with honesty and integrity.

                  9. Listen carefully to alternative ways of seeing and doing.

                  10. Challenge limiting assumptions and beliefs.




 Table 20
 Categories         C = (Cure): How do you handle anti-diversity issues?



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 Results-driven
                  1. Communicate effectively. If you as a manager
                  cannot, then have someone who can.

                  2. Get to know your team’s business life as well as their
                  personal life.

                  3. Encourage your employees to work as a team.

                  4. Hold training that built awareness on the value of
                  diversity.

                  5. Model appropriate behavior and lead by example.

                  6. Everyone needs to contribute and recognize the value
                  of diversity.

                  7. Develop a timely feedback regarding their work
                  performance.

                  8. Always be fair and consistent among your team.

                  9. Give employees chances to suggest ideas.

                  10. Challenge the status quo.




 Table 21.        P = (Prevent): Things that get in the way of a diverse team. /
 Categories       What do you do to prevent diversity issues?



                                        38
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 Results-driven
                  1. When employees express their ideas, values, and views,
                  do not doubt or question them.

                  2. Lead by example. Teach your employees by performing
                  the desired behaviors.

                  3. Make your expectations clear in advance and be sure
                  that your employees have an agreement of
                  understanding.

                  4. Be consistent and fair among employees.

                  5. Advocate self-initiative.

                  6. Be open with all the company issues.

                  7. Be willing to restrain critical tendencies.

                  8. Realize that sameness is not strength.

                  9. Solicit multiple perspectives. Never allow only one
                  solution to a problem.

                  10. Focus on competency versus experience.




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