Workplace Diversity - Embracing Disagreement

May 6, 2012

Workplace Diversity: The Art of Positive Disagreement©
by Mark Monroe
April 19, 2011

“If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking.”
- General George Patton

Workplace Diversity: The Art of Positive Disagreement discussed "how successful diversity management from an organizational point of view is the art of learning how to manage disagreement so that it becomes a positive influence within an organization... Disagreement is often associated with disruption, disrespect, disobedience, disloyalty, and dissension, and rightly so, if disagreement is mismanaged it can lead to all of those things.  The point is that it does not necessarily have to, and indeed it can have beneficial consequences.  

"To lead and develop people who are in constant agreement with each other means that you are not leading a truly diverse organization, but rather you are in charge of a homogeneous organization with different colored[1] faces.  An important fact companies must understand is that diversity spawns disagreement, but it is not just that disagreement is something you have to put up with in a diverse organization—it is valuable in and of itself.... The real value that diversity brings to an organization [is] diversity of thought."

This paper two-dimensional models of diversity, four phases of understanding, and ways to effectively manage disagreement.

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