165 – Well-managed diverse teams are more productive

Posted by  Anecdote International —October 25, 2022
Filed in Anecdotes, Podcast

Poorly managed diverse teams are less productive than homogenous teams, but when managed well, diverse teams are the most productive. Listen for a taste of what Anecdote Principal Rob Grundel will cover in our upcoming webinar.

Free Webinar: “Scale, Climate, Inclusion!”

Rob Grundel cohosts this week’s episode of Anecdotally Speaking with Shawn and announces our upcoming webinar, “Scale, Climate, Inclusion!”: How stories can tackle your organisation’s biggest challenges! He and Shawn give listeners a taste of what they can expect from the 60-minute webinar and Rob shares a relevant research story.

Rob will run the free webinar twice on Thursday, the 3rd of November, at 11:00am and 6:00pm (AEDT—Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne). To register to attend, click here.

He’ll explore some of the most pressing themes facing organisations today, and you’ll hear examples of how other organisations are responding meaningfully to these challenges. You’ll walk away with two communication tools and have the opportunity to ask questions! We hope to see you there!

For your story bank

Tags: being heard, diversity, diversity and inclusion, performance, productivity

This story starts at 03:35

In 2000, Joseph Distefano published a paper on working in diverse teams. His team found that homogenous teams are more effective than poorly-managed diverse teams, but well-managed diverse teams are most effective.

In one of the paper’s appendices, Distefano shares a story.

Before the paper’s publication, Distefano and his team visited the offices of large organisations to see how their teams worked, what worked well, and what didn’t. One day, they were sitting in a bank in downtown New York, in a room filled with the bank’s top managers. The topic of discussion was how well they made decisions.

One manager remarked, “I think we make really good decisions here. We always ask around for everyone’s input. We hear everyone and always come to a decision.”

Another manager agreed, “Yes, there’s always room for improvement, but we always ask if everyone agrees, and we get an agreement before we move on.”

A few people gave their own examples supporting the quality of their decision-making.

A woman, who was originally from Korea, was sitting at the corner of the table. Physically, it was hard for her to lean in and be heard. She spoke with difficulty too, and cleared her throat before she said, “Well, this is not true for me. When I want to speak, I have to rehearse everything I want to say. I think about it over and over. By the time there’s space for me to say it, you already want to move on, so I’m only listened to partially. When I’m not heard, I have to recover inside, so I’m not listening to whatever else is said in the room.”

She continued, “My feelings aren’t the point. You’re not getting the best out of me, the best ideas out of me.”

There was a shocked, 20-second silence.

A man from Indonesia who was yet to speak added, “I have all these ideas that you often come to weeks after we have a discussion. I make observations that you only come to weeks later, that I don’t share for the reasons mentioned.”

About  Anecdote International

Anecdote International is a global training and consulting company, specialising in utilising storytelling to bring humanity back to the workforce. Anecdote is now unique in having a global network of over 60 partners in 28 countries, with their learning programs translated into 11 languages, and customers who incorporate these programs into their leadership and sales enablement activities.

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