Embracing diverse perspectives can help promote inclusivity and creativity in a company. Having conflicting or different perspectives in the workplace is bound to happen at some point, so it is important to know how to deal with the situation.
Here are five tips for dealing with diverse perspectives in the workplace:
Listen first, speak second
Instead of listening with the intent to respond, listen to understand. Give the person speaking your full attention, and really try to understand where they are coming from.
Once you have listened to their thoughts and opinions, then you can speak about your perspective and find out where opinions are differing.
When someone has a different perspective than you, ask them questions. Asking questions can help you gain a deeper understanding of someone’s thought process and correct any misinterpretations.
Take other perspectives into account
While it may be hard to hear perspectives that challenge yours, there are many benefits that come from trying to understand diverse opinions. Taking differing perspectives into account can increase empathy and understanding in your company and decrease bias and judgement.
When people share their perspectives on a situation, it is usually because they are passionate about their stance. So, it is important to be mindful of others’ thoughts and validate them. Make sure that when colleagues are expressing their perspectives, it is in the form of a conversation and not an argument.
Lead by example
All leaders will likely encounter an employee who is not open to hearing different perspectives, which can make for a difficult situation. However, leaders can use this as an opportunity to lead by example. Leaders can show their employees what it looks like to embrace different perspectives and effectively communicate.
Every leader will encounter the conflict of having diverse perspectives, so it is important to learn ways to deal with the situation. When diverse perspectives are handled properly, they promote greater creativity, better decision making, and reduced bias in the workplace.