Whether you are a first-time manager, an experienced manager or someone who supports managers, learning to lead a diverse team is not complicated," says coach and trainer Joanna Menezes, "but it does take time. Today's webinar programme? 5 steps to successfully managing a diverse team.  A topic that attracted some thirty members - of all ages and nationalities - of the Cala Learning Hub network online on 4th February 2022.

Belonging, valuing and ensuring safety

After clarifying certain notions notably "diversity" and "inclusion", Joanna Menezes defined what an inclusive work environment is. There are three key words to remember," she explains, "creating a sense of belonging to a group, valuing the differences and contributions of each individual and finally ensuring that members of the team feel safe from negative judgements and stereotypes."

And there is a lot at stake as managing diversity is crucial for the company, its business and its managers. "There are many benefits to leveraging diversity and inclusion in the workplace, such as a improving one's reputation, being more innovative, developing new markets, and enhancing the retention of talents, " Joanna reminds us. Moreover, according to her, "company practices are moving in this direction".

The qualities of an inclusive manager

But what exactly do we mean by an inclusive manager? All the participants shared their ideas on this question... It is in fact a person who is capable of :

- Adapting himself/herself to the specificities of each member of his/her team
- Creating value from the diversity of his/her team
- Leveraging the diversity and complementarity of his/her team,
- Generating a shared vision and team spirit “in spite of” the team’s diversity
- Creating an inclusive environment for everyone

So what are the 5 steps to succesfully managing a diverse team?

1. Question your relationship to "difference" and be open to differences that are less familiar or may seem frightening. "In a coaching situation, we learn to map out our network, to take stock of who we regularly meet in order to identify new people to meet so that we may move beyond certain preconceptions," explains Joanna.
2. Become aware of your stereotypes, prejudices and unconscious biases and try to deconstruct them to avoid discriminatory behaviour. A very instructive exercise in this area is the Harvard IAT test.
3. Identify points of tension or conflict within the team in order to find solutions and get the team members to know each other better so that they can work better together. The idea is to multiply exchanges on the notions of diversity and inclusion and to create opportunities to strengthen connections (team-building, training, etc.)
4. To enrich one's theoretical knowledge. Whether it is about intergenerational management, interculturality, disability, gender equality, sexism or sexual harassment, the most important thing is to be informed through training, podcasts or reading books.
5. Develop interpersonal intelligence and the ability to adjust behaviour and communication to different people and situations. In this case, a good exercise is to take a personality assessment like the DiSC to get to know yourself and others better and thus improve your relationships.
Would you like to make personal progress on this subject or learn more? Make an appointment with Cala Consulting today to define an action plan together.
If you would like to know more about our free webinars, have a look at our programme and save the date ! 
Jo fev22

Blog article written by par Laure Blancard : https://www.linkedin.com/in/laure-blancard/