Wissam Adib
Coaching for Change

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On Change

Strengths diversity

A lot of attention has been given to the importance of diversity in the workplace, and with good reason: it makes good business sense. Having diversity at work means that you have women and men of different cultural backgrounds attack problems you're facing from many unique perspectives. This is a good thing.

Humans, by their very nature, are attracted to people who are similar to them. Growing up, we make friends with kids who like the same things that we do. This doesn't really change as we grow into adults.

Curiously enough, we also tend to value people who have similar strengths as us. The outspoken, charismatic executive will frown at the perceived weakness of the quiet, introverted types. And the deliberative, soft spoken leader will wince when dealing with the reckless, shoot-from-the-hip manager reporting to them. Our strengths filter our view of the world. This is a bad thing.

Strengths diversity is just as important as gender or racial diversity. As a leader, you should have a systematic approach to identifying and appreciating the unique strengths that you and each of your team members bring to the table. If you only hire people who look and act like you, the organization will only be able to solve problems that someone like you can solve.

Wissam Adib