Diversity Is Good Celebrate Difference

Have you noticed how often on Facebook that there are many people who talk about being individualist and celebrate political comments of individuality, yet they are all the same? They conform to common thoughts and opinions. Pretty much dress alike, too, depending a little upon age.

I heard Dr. King speak once. He was a classmate of our campus chaplain at Ohio Northern University. Dr. Udy invited him, and he came and spoke. We were almost all white. We were almost all Republican–in an era where that was becoming a code-word for being against civil rights. But he spoke well.

And, I, too, shared that dream that all people would be accepted for their character, not for their race, gender, religion. It has been a long process. It’s been 50 years. We’re closer, but, as you can see from Facebook postings where evidently people feel free to spout off about anything, we’re still far away.

Here is yet another study that shows why you should promote diversity and legitimate sharing on your teams–whether at work, church, civic organizations. The article discussing it is called, Sensitivity, Women, Sharing: What Makes Teams Smart, by Orion Jones. This one dealt more with women, but it shares results with other earlier studies that include race and ethnic diversity along with gender.

When teams of professionals are composed of more women, share ideas in equal part, and are emotionally perceptive, they make better decisions and find better solutions to problems.

As part of an emerging science of effective teamwork, researchers at MIT and Carnegie Mellon University have been asking why some teams, like some individuals, are measurably smarter than others.

The smartest teams were distinguished by members which contributed more equally to the discussion, were better at reading complex emotional states in lab settings, and were composed of more women (possibly because women are better at identifying emotion).

I try to the best of my ability to treat all people the same. I give them a chance to prove whether I should continue to associate with them, trust them, or do business with them all on an individual basis. Let’s celebrate the memory of Martin Luther King, Jr. by just quietly accepting others and quietly promoting diversity in our teams and groups.

 

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