Differences

Why is it important to work with a variety of different personalities—and learning styles? How can we help others feel like they’re part of a team?

Like DQ1, this subject is a core element of being human. None of us live in isolation or work in isolation, nor would we want to. Working in teams, classrooms, families and communities inevitably means working with people of different personalities and learning styles. Given this, it is fortunate that we are all so very, wonderfully different.

Each person contributes a unique point of view. The solution each would choose will most likely be importantly or even entirely different from all the others. Even the avenues chosen to structure the solution might well be entirely different. And once the group collects the varied perspectives, approaches and solutions, that same diverse team provides the best combination of perspectives to structure an ideal solution.

Once a solution is reached, typically there is a further requirement of implementation. A diverse team is ideal for implementation as well. Each member of the team has a unique perspective on how the group’s plan will be received and might be best presented. In the receiving constituency, there will be similarly diverse humans, each receiving the solution in their own way, with their own perspective. Having a diverse group allows communication and implementation to be tailored individually, or at least tailored to narrower groups of individuals sharing a learning style, cultural perspective or other differentiating factor. Inevitably in any endeavor, there will be feedback, good and bad, and bumps in the road. Having a variety of personalities increases the group’s ability to fully assimilate the feedback or new information and respond in better harmony with the external situation.

Most importantly, being involved with a variety of personalities is FUN, energizing and creatively stimulating. it is the proverbial spice of life to encounter new and different histories, ideas, cultures, philosophies, brains and hearts.

When dealing with any team, especially a diverse one, it is critical to honor the humanity of each individual. We all want respect. We want our ideas to be honored, valued and, at least, in part included. Finally (and subtly for me), teams are not just goal driven. They are a community requiring an open heart and the inclusion of our essential humanity. The best teams are built from relationship to function. Building a team from relationship is the best way to make an integrated team. Integrated teams are the best; robust and highly functional.

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