Challenges to Managing Diversity
Challenges to Managing Diversity
Every day I meet people of different races, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, physical appearance, education, and color amongst other differences in my town. This is not different in the workplace where I have to work with people of varied statures and other differences. Such diversity in the workplace has taught me to appreciate the fact that no two people are identical in everything. However, I have also realized that managing such diversity in the workplace is not easy. This is because diversity means different interests and ways of doing things. One of the differences is how each of us communicates with a different person, which raises a challenge to management of diversity (Holt, 2013). The other challenge comes from our resistance to change, where many of us want to do not want to change or adopt different ideas from different people. The other challenge comes from our prejudice and discrimination as well as stereotypes that we hold about people who differ from us (Greenberg, 2013). These challenges make it difficult to manage diversity in workplaces, where we find that some workmates may not want to associate with us.
In workplaces where we have to work with different people in terms of ethnicity, cultures, religion, sexes, age groups and race, communication becomes a problem. It becomes a problem since each group or individual that differs from us in any way has their style of communication (Holt, 2013). For instance, young people tend to have a slang language that elderly groups might not understand. Therefore, I could find myself unable to communicate properly with a person who is not within my age group. With such differences, I could misunderstand my different workmate, which could lead to misinterpretation. This leads to poor relations when we cannot understand one another. This poses a tremendous challenge to management of diversity since it requires that we understand one another.
Resistance to Change
Every person has some possessions and characters they would like to maintain. With different interests, each of us may not be ready to accept the views of other people (Greenberg, 2013). In every work place, we find people who do not want to embrace diversity. Such people only want to associate with those within their group, which makes them resistant to diversity. Such people do not take diversity seriously (Holt, 2013). Most of us do not think that diversity within the organization is a priority since not all of us understand its benefits. When we do not want to accept diversity, every effort to reap the benefits of diversity hits a roadblock. This poses another challenge to managing diversity in our workplaces since it requires cooperation and acceptance of our differences.
Discrimination, Prejudice and Stereotyping
In the workplace, I find that many people hold assumptions about other groups as well as different people. Many of us hold views about other people that are negative and sometimes positive. Some of the stereotypes such as one race being inferior or incapable of certain practices are one way of hindering diversity (Greenberg, 2013). Some of us are discriminative and hold some prejudices about others. Such negative attitudes towards those that are different from us make it even harder to manage diversity within the workplace. It becomes difficult to manage diversity when people within the workplace do not want to associate with one another, or when we hold negative views concerning those who differ from us.
I have come to realize that the best way for managing diversity is ensuring that every person views the other person as an individual, instead of a different person belonging to a certain group. This way, we can all appreciate that diversity mainly comes from individuality instead of groups. This can help us in realizing that we can associate to anybody irrespective of his or her ethnicity, religion, race, sexual orientation or any other difference. From the discussed challenges to diversity management, it is clear they come from our differences, such as communication challenge that is brought about by our different communication styles. Resistance to change or resistance to appreciating such differences as well as holding negative views about other people poses the challenges to diversity management. Therefore, to overcome these challenges it requires us to appreciate our differences.
Greenberg, J. (2013). Diversity in the Workplace: Benefits, Challenges and Solutions. Retrieved from http://diversity.sdce.edu/content/diversity-workplace-benefits-challenges-and-solutions
Holt, M. (2013). Challenges of Diversity Management. Retrieved from http://smallbusiness.chron.com/challenges-diversity-management-3044.html