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What is your approach to understanding the perspectives of colleagues from different backgrounds?

19 May 09:00 by Angela Boffy

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Promoting inclusiveness and diversity within your workplace is one of the best ways to foster an open-minded, global company culture. Research shows that not only does this make good business sense - helping your company to better understand colleagues, clients, and customers around the world- it also enriches the working environment for everyone.  

At Laurence Simons Search we know from experience that diversity gives you access to a wider range of talent, providing a greater world view and insight.  As a search company, we also know that when employees feel accepted and valued, they are also happier in their workplace and stay longer with a company.

As a company that values equity, in fact, one of our values is actually inclusion, we are continuing our Talking Head Series by asking our valued clients and friends their thoughts on the following question: 

What is your approach to understanding the perspectives of colleagues from different backgrounds?

 

Listening to understand, seeking to learn other people’s perspectives, and seeing the strength in diverse opinion is key here, by including all colleagues and learning from each other.  By doing this, the compound effect of each and every one of us doing something means that incremental steps and change to a more equal, diverse, and inclusive world – in all senses – will happen.

Clare Beresford, CEO, Laurence Simons Search

 

Through openness, flexibility, respect for each other and neutrality, one can have open discussions and exchange of views with the aim of understanding each other, irrespective of your background.

Alexander von Voß, LL.M, Chief Legal Officer, ProSiebenSat.1 

 

Understanding starts with listening. And I mean listening to understand not listening to offer my opinion. Taking the time and paying attention to someone else’s story, trying to walk in their shoes, and imagining their experiences, helps me a lot. But it does not stop there. Once I have listened, I am trying to truly understand and build empathy. I try to relate to the other person, try to seek common ground by asking questions, and use that for a joined-up plan with joined-up action. It is my experience that if you listen hard enough, and you try to really understand, it is rare that you will not find common ground for a joint path forward.

Stefan John, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, BASF Corporation

 

No-one should feel they have to hide or mask core parts of themselves at work because they feel unsafe or unsupported. It takes leadership commitment to ensure inclusivity – that every team member feels included, respected and free to express themselves, and voice concerns based on their unique perspectives and experiences.

I embrace diverse thinking in every interaction with my team because I value the feedback. It also means I get some incredible ideas, and it helps everyone to understand that they have an important role to play in our shared mission.

Victoria McClean, CEO, City CV