Why We Need Personality Diversity
In these tumultuous times, much has been written about DEI (Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion) in the workplace. A recent study by McKinsey indicates that “Companies in the top quartile for gender, racial, and ethnic diversity are more likely to have financial returns above national medians.”
While correlation doesn’t necessarily equal causation, it’s proven that when companies commit to increased diversity, better results seem to follow.
It doesn’t stop there though. What about diversity in personalities? That level of diversity isn’t always as obvious and can be hard to detect in an interview alone.
Take a few minutes to read job postings on LinkedIn or Indeed and you’ll see that everyone is looking for ‘an entrepreneurial spirit’ or ‘a change agent.’ And, of course, every employee needs ‘great people skills.’
Think about it. If everyone on the team is a big-picture, risk-taker, the team would function like a sailboat without a rudder or a keel and systems would lag. Decisions that affect the entire organization and its employees might be impulsive or untested and lead to issues down the line.
On another hand, if the team were all highly extroverted, it may be a fun place to work, but analytical decisions might suffer because everyone is more concerned about “getting along” than making tough decisions or driving results. There wouldn’t be a balance to the team.
This means that when an organization adds a new person to the team, it’s a decision that needs to be driven intentionally rather than emotionally.
When that new person joins the team, that team, by definition, becomes an entirely new team.
So what can you do?
To start, rather than asking ‘Do I like this person?,’ you need to ask:
Is our talent aligned with our goals?
Is our talent aligned with our roles?
It is one thing to have diverse personalities in an organization; it’s another to value what each person contributes to the whole. Until we are aware of our own style and natural biases, our diverse personalities, while critical to success, can instead be a source of frustration.
PI Midlantic offers the latest in leadership and team-building: Team Discovery. Ask your PI Midlantic consultant to run your team through Team Discovery, or simply review your talent vs. your objectives.
This process is eye-opening, leads to greater self-awareness, and may change your team’s and organization’s decision-making process entirely.
See McKinsey’s study’s results.
Author: Steve Picarde