Global Diversity – A NLP Perspective

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A workplace, a community or even society are prime examples of where people of different religions, cultures, backgrounds, values, beliefs, languages, communication styles, attitudes and behaviours are required to exist and work cooperatively together.

So, now what is the relevance of Diversity in Today’s challenging scenario.

Diversity focuses on each individual’s unique skills, talents, capabilities and skills, experience, beliefs and cultural influences. Successful diversity management identifies and harnesses each individual’s qualities, regardless of age, gender, race, disability, sexual orientation or belief towards a common goal.  It is about making the most of one’s talent and releasing inherent potential that transforms any company generating growth and maximizing profits.

Diversity relates to the range of variety within a system.  It has to do with the amount and degree of differences between the various individuals of a team, group or community.  In systems theory, diversity is considered as important factor influencing the health, stability and growth of a system.  A certain degree of diversity for instance is necessary for a system to function and survive.  A community that has rich diversity will be able to survive a serious situation than a community that has only a few diverse people.  Similarly a single product company is much more likely to experience problems if the market changes than a company with diverse product line.  Let us take the case of human, when one of the faculty breaks down the other takes over. I.e. A blind person develops excellent listening skills.

In Human interactions, diversity surrounds in the form of different behaviours, thinking styles, beliefs, values, cultures, religion and ways of achieving outcomes.

In fact, one of the defining characteristics of today’s world is the trend toward increasing diversity.  Change and diversity are facts of life. From the perspective of systems theory, both nature and society tend towards diversity. We cannot avoid it.  Rather we must learn to more wisely address it if we have to survive in global competition and challenging world.  Diversity can be either an asset or a problem, depending on how it is managed.

As the Challenges grow larger, new tools and techniques have started coming in Existence.  One such Cognitive and Behavioural Tool to help absorb a greater degree to diversity in thinking strategies, learning styles, beliefs and values and other individual differences is NLP {Neuro Linguistic Programming].   NLP is the Art of Communication.  Every word or action that anyone in this world says or takes has a code in the brain which a person follows. By this one can create, modify or negate communication, thinking process and behavioural pattern thereby bringing about flexibility in ones interactions and actions.  This coding of the brain is since the dawn of Man and now scientists have designed a method in which we can use it to get our desired outcome.

The purpose is not to help one person win or control the system, but to achieve consistent results in contexts of change and to more effectively serve the variety of needs within a system. As our world becomes more complex and dynamic, it is critical to understand and apply the principle of requisite variety in order to produce quality products or services, be an effective professional, help others to learn or change, maintain competitive ability, build a successful enterprise, create a functioning learning organisation or simply learn to survive one’s own challenges in personal and professional life. Requisite Variety indicates the amount of flexibility or choice a person or part of a system needs or requires in order to successfully adapt, achieve or survive challenges.

One important principle for managing diversity is that sometimes diversity at the surface level reflects unity at a deeper level.  People who have different capabilities and thinking styles, can share a common goal.  Many different ideas and behaviour can be generated by a single creativity strategy.

A few pointers to handle Diversity in Global Scenario through NLP are-

  • Align Self Goals to that of Organizational Goals [Fixed Common Desired Goal]: The vision of the organization well understood and the employees harnessing their potential towards a common desired outcome. Each individual will have different personal goals, capabilities and skills, belief systems, thinking patterns and operational methods to realize what they want.  When channelized, they would generate creative thinking patterns towards achieving the common vision. If employees align with company values and integration and cooperation are truly adopted, diversity offers incredible reward for individuals and the company.
  • Rapport Building [Building Relationships with Integrity]: Clarity of the outcome will lead to abridging the gap between diversity in workplace. Building rapport as in beliefs, values, capabilities and skills, thinking patterns, to develop more understanding no matter which background anyone comes, would be a reality.
  • The Map is not the Territory [Understanding Reality]: Each individual would perceive any experience or communication with the basis of their culture, beliefs, values, environment they are brought up with. Understanding the reality by dropping down individual perception and seeing the actuality by asking questions and not becoming judgemental or assuming things would be reducing the conflicts due to unfamiliarity,  miscommunication, bias and resistance. Unfortunately, communication mishaps mostly occur because the way one sees the world is not the same as others. A lot of times we end up saying, ‘ You don’t get what I am saying’ or ‘I did not say that/ I did not mean that’ or ‘U are not understanding’
  • Meta-person: Being a witness or an observer to the situation without getting involved could see the brighter side of handling opinions, and criticism as each person sees every experience with regard to his or her perception. It will encourage the team to negotiate and agree on company goals, setting well formed outcomes and boundaries so that all are on the same page, there is no bias, resources are assigned, goals are timed and  realistic

Effective implementation of NLP in the workplace minimises conflict, encourages changed behaviours such as respect, cooperation, transparency, enhanced communication and teamwork, ultimately ensuing the successful achievement of individual and company goals. Number of NLP techniques for negotiation, conflict integration, rapport building, handling criticism, assist people in finding areas of commonality a deeper levels than those which the diversity is being expressed.

Enjoy Diversity in Nature and in people to Celebrate Life!

Author- Reena Jabran – International Master Trainer in NLP – Behavioural and Attitudinal Expert

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