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The Loudest Duck: Moving Beyond Diversity

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1 The Loudest Duck: Moving Beyond Diversity
By Laura Liswood Adapted from a Workshop on 31 July 2013 Presented By: Robert Billington Date (of presentation)

2 What’s the issue with Diversity?
Diversity – a mix of different people We have diversity – but in and of itself diversity only satisfies a mandate – Noah's Ark To maximize our benefit from diversity we must change our behavior

3 Why Change? Maximize the benefits of diversity for the organization – enable better performance To ensure a level playing field for a diverse workforce to fully contribute and advance the goals of the organization

4 The Value of Diversity Who want’s to be a millionaire?
Lifeline = 65% correct Eliminate 2/4 answers = 75% correct Crowd sourcing = 91% correct Group of 5 people If you already have 4 engineers, adding another probably won’t add much diversity or creativity There is value in inclusion Synergy of ideas & creativity The best ideas come from the broadest spectrum

5 Why isn’t the playing field level?
Differences – age, race, gender, dominant group, non dominant group, religion, culture, education, sexual orientation, political party, marital status, health, height, weight, symmetry – beauty, financial status, language, direct and indirect communication styles… Grandma – beliefs & archetypes - myths, stories, fables, urban legends, cultural & social norms and bias, frames of reference, how we place ourselves and how others place us in society and in the workplace

6 Why isn’t the playing field level?
Unconscious confirmation of beliefs & archetypes – believe first, see confirmation of what we believe – we filter to confirm beliefs Like to Like vs. Like to Unlike – what are you most comfortable with? We all apply archetypes and fail to recognize the value of differences - The value of diversity!

7 How Diversity Doesn’t Work; A meeting with a Wheel, a Duck, a Nail, and a Nice
U.S. culture “The squeaky Wheel gets the grease”; speaking up will get you noticed and rewarded. Stand out and be an individualist. Chinese culture “The loudest Duck gets shot”; Speaking up might get you in trouble or even killed. Japanese culture “The Nail that sticks out gets hit on the head”; It’s better to fit in and be compliant. Humility culture “If you can’t say anything Nice, don’t say anything at all”; Only say nice things – don’t disagree.

8 “The squeaky Wheel gets the grease”

9 “The loudest Duck gets shot”

10 “The Nail that sticks out gets hit on the head”

11 “If you can’t say anything Nice, don’t say anything at all”

12 What to do about it? We must think about it – Cognitive Diversity
We must notice Diversity and make specific Conscious decisions that help level the field Who’s different – how can we as leaders help ensure equal access?

13 Listen Activity Listen carefully when someone shares a different perspective Ensure that people participating in meetings by phone are brought into the conversation Be aware of different cultural or relational language patterns (e.g., indirect vs direct speaking styles) Ensure that all have an opportunity to speak, without interruption 13

14 Solicit Diverse Views Ask for viewpoints different from your own
Solicit opinions from less outspoken people 14

15 Encourage Connections Across the Workplace
Encourage employees to connect with others not like them in the agency or department Take time to interact with people who are different from you 15

16 Be Inclusive Be outwardly supportive of diversity efforts
Be inclusive in formal conversations and activities Be aware of the ways you include or exclude individuals from activities, such as outings, after work socializing and sporting events, which may work for some and not others – does not mean you have to stop these activities, but does mean you have to ensure equal access 16

17 Interview a Diverse Group of Candidates
Ensure hiring managers seek out diverse candidates to interview Evaluate people based on job-related skills, not merely because you like them Question assumption if a diverse hire is classified as a “risky” hire Ask yourself if “cultural/office fit” is being confused with “similar to me” 17

18 Provide Development Opportunities Fairly
Be specific about the skills and capabilities that lead to success in the organization, and build development around those skills Systematically review the diversity of the high performance and high potential employees Consider all potential candidates for promotion, training, and stretch assignments, not just “top of mind” candidates Think about those for whom you have advanced or sponsored. Ask yourself if they are similar to you or different from you 18

19 Provide Clear Feedback
Provide clear, constructive, and critical feedback to all in a timely manner Be aware of using “too” e.g., “she’s too intense” Make sure the person hears and understands the message that you want to send – close the loop, e.g., “Let’s make sure you understood what I said.” Focus on outcomes and performance, rather than style compliance Notice any hesitation you have to give feedback to someone not like you 19

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