Book: How to Work With And Lead People Not Like You

how_to_work_with_and_lead_people_not_like_you“How to Work With And Lead People Not Like You: Practical Solutions For Today’s Diverse Workplace” By Kelly McDonald
  • “When technology broken down the walls that separated us from people in other cities, states or countries, it created more opportunity for people from all walks of life to work together.”
  • “On top of that, people move around now. All over the world, people relocating and moving at a pace that we’ve never seen before.”
  • “The unfamiliar is uncomfortable. We crave the familiar. It feels ‘normal’ and ‘safe’ to us because we understand it.”
  • “It’s at this point that people behave in one of two fashions: they either seek to understand their emotions and work to channel those feelings into something positive, or they feel resentment.”
  • “Emotions are natural. You can’t help feeling whatever it is you feel: fear, anxiety, discomfort, worry. But resentment is a choice. You don’t have to choose it. Resentment is destructive. It eats away at your insides and makes you bitter and angry. You grit your teeth, go to work, and silently resent that our differences exist in the first place. It’s not uncommon to feel resentment. It’s understandable. But it is a choice.”
  • “diverse teams yield better outcomes.”
  • “working with diverse team members felt harder, but produced a better outcome.”
  • “The only way you’ll get to know someone who is different from you is to talk with them.”
  • “When you’re trying to connect with someone not like you, uncovering their values and their perspective is the goal. Because once you understand their values, you will better understand them. And that will make it easier to work with them, because you’ll have a sense of where they’re coming from, what matters to them, and why they do things the way they do.”
  • “When you focus on getting to know the person who is not like you, you’ll often find that they are not as different from you as you initially thought.”
  • “Because what they have in common is more significant than what their differences are.”
  • “These are core values, and they have nothing to do with country of origin, religion, or color of skin.”
  • “When you express genuine interest in another person, it communicates respect. That respect leads to trust. Trust leads to sharing. You’re not going to share personal insights about yourself or your family with someone you don’t trust.”
  • “People are people. We all have something that unites us. Maybe it’s a shared passion, our interests or hobbies, our families, the clothes we wear, were we are from, our current events. It can be something as simple as favorite food or whether we like the rain or snow! Common ground is there, but you won’t find it if you don’t look for it.”
  • When “encountered the associate who was upset and cried”, instead of saying “Why are you crying?”, say “Talk to me. Tell me what’s going on and how I can help.”
  • “Most often, offensive comments are made thoughtlessly, carelessly, or ignorantly, not because someone is mean-spirited. The way to handle such comments at work is to do what Amber did: keep the focus on business. Stay focused on the job that must be done or the business issue at hand.”
  • Steps in having a constructive conversation
    • “Let them be different. You don’t have to share their values or like them; you just have to work with them.”
    • “Create a dialogue by asking them to explain their perspective on the broader situation or work context.”
    • “Identify the specific issue, obstacle, or barrier.”
    • “Discuss solutions.”
  • “This article stated that these four words–I need your help–are the most effective way to talk with someone and get them on board with a new idea, a solution, resolution of an issue, or almost anything else.”
  • When working with people who don’t speak your language:
    • “Slow down when you speak.”
    • “Use simple and clear phrases.”
    • “Write words down.”
    • “Use pictures, charts, or graphs, or draw a picture if you have to.”
    • “Gestures and pantomimes also boost comprehension.”
    • “When possible, make label or instruction in both languages.”
    • “Make sure workers know that if they don’t understand something questions are appreciated and it’s important that they understand their job and how to perform it.”
    • “Use your bilingual employees to assist you.”
    • “Be patient.”
    • “Don’t give up!”
  • “Confirming that everyone is clear and on the same page is essential, particularly when there is the possibility that someone might be misunderstood due to the way they speak.”
  • “I don’t have to like him! That’s not part of my job!” “I just had to work with him. And while working with others isn’t always easy, the key elements of teamwork are pretty basic: cooperation, respect, trust, support, shared goals, and communication.”
  • “When you take emotion out of it, When you realize and accept that you don’t have to like them, you just have to work with them it makes things easier. It’s about work, not socializing. It’s about cooperation, not friendship. It’s about respect, not being soulmates. You don’t have to see eye-to-eye on everything, or share the same views: you just have to get along well enough to get the job done.”
  • “It’s not about finding what’s wrong with them. It’s bout findign our common ground and what we can do together to grow our business.”
  • Working together:
    • “Understand that they’re not trying to be difficult.”
    • “When you have to work with someone you do’t like or who is vastly different from you, understand that you won’t change them.” “You best bet is to be civil and diplomatic. Whatever their demeanor is toward you (or the job), remain positive and professional and treat the other person with courtesy.”
    • “don’t expect their behavior or their opinion to mesh with your. Adjust your expectations–accept that the other person is a certain way and they’ll be less likely to push your buttons.”
    • “There’s a professional way to state your views without being antagonistic or trying to persuade the other person to shift their view. Say, ‘I see it differently’ and then express your view on whatever subject is being discussed. ‘I see it differently’ is nonjudgmental: it doesn’t come across as combative, it doesn’t mean you’re trying to ‘win the argument’ or persuade the other person to change their opinion.”
  • Objectives of breaking the ice:
    • “To make sure that everyone on the team knows each other”
    • “To begin ongoing discussions about how the team will work together”
  • Dos and don’ts of breaking the ice:
    • “Don’t call on people individually and have them report their name, department and area of responsibility. While the information is important, it’s not the best way to break the ice.”
    • “Do ask each person to share something about themselves, but have them jot it down, instead of reciting it.”
      • “What’s one thing you’re grateful for this week?”
      • “A perfect Saturday for you would be…”
      • “This little personal insight abotu hime made me want to get to know him better, because it revealed something about him as a person, not an accountant.”
    • “Don’t ask people to share their answers one at a time in front of the group.”
    • “Do have each pair report back to the larger group for a fuller discussion.”
  • “Common trust is what we extend to others pretty broadly, even if we don’t know them.”
  • “Vulnerability is trust that must be cultivated. Vulnerability trust means that you have confidence in your team members, enough to be vulnerable. It means you fell safe with your team members, safe enough to allow you to take risks, ask for help, and admit mistakes. Safe enough that you can’t confront and hold others accountable without fear of retaliation or resentment.”
  • To build vulnerability trust:
    • “As a leader, it’s up to you to lead by example and show others the type of behavior and actions you want them to adopt.”
    • “You must be willing to suspend your own competitive thoughts and open up to considering someone else’s idea. Experts say the goal is to listen with the intent to understand rather than with the intent to reply.”
    • “Talk straight, Be honest. tell the truth, even when it’s difficult truth.”
    • “Use simple language.”
    • “Be clear about expectation.” “Clarity builds trust, because with clarity, people have the same understanding of what is needed to do the job.”
    • “Demonstrate respect. Show you care.”
    • “The ability to admin mistakes and show personal humility is a strength.”
    • “Keep your promises and commitments. Following through builds trust quickly, because team members will realize that you do what you say you’re going to do. They’ll learn they can depend on you.”
    • “When you show loyalty to your team, when you stand up for them, when you give credit where it’s due, when you keep team members’ personal information private, trust is formed.”
    • “Don’t badmouth the company. Don’t badmouth people behind their backs–that will erode trust faster than anything.”
  • “We devalue, undervalue, or dismiss the things we can’t relate to or see no need for. That’s why it’s so important to have diverse perspective in business. If we don’t, we might miss something big.”
  • Pilot fish
    • “With people, the phrase applies to those individuals who are influential. They’re opinion leaders, the one that others look up to. They are informal ‘leaders’ because others follow them–and often confide in them. They may not even know they are pilot fish, but what they say or do influences others in their sphere.”
    • “Think about your team and who your ‘pilot fish’ are. Then cultivate an ongoing conversation with them about ‘what they’re hearing’ or ‘what they think others are thinking or feeling.’ You’re not asking them to tattle on anyone or name names. Your goal is simply to learn what your team may not be comfortable talking about in a meeting.”
  • “You can’t fix what you don’t know is broken. You’ll need help to stay abreast of what your team is thinking, what they’re apprehensive about, excited about, or confused about.”
  • “Constructive conflict isn’t just arguing and creating friction between parties. Constructive conflict has a purpose. It’s purpose is to identify and discuss what is really going on.”
  • When two different teams work together
    • “set up a series of introductory meetings  to set the goals and timeline”
    • “They met on neutral turf.”
    • “He observe in those meeting who was open-minded and viewing the situation rationally.”
    • “also observed who the ‘natural influencers'”
    • “put the open-minded engineers together with the engineers who were natural influencers/pilot fish.”
    • “He also gave them subtle encouragement to foster communication and collaboration.”
    • “He told them, ‘You’re getting there, but you’re not there yet.’ This pushed the team to stretch and not settle for creating a good product–or even a very good one–they were pushed to create something amazing and revolutionary.”
    • “When the team realized that they had to choice but to meet the deadline, they also realized the only way they could do it was to rely on each other.”
    • “Once that team is on the edge of breakthrough, you’ve got to keep them together, keep them working on their goal or nothing will ever get done.”
    • “Establish checkpoints where the whole group gathers to discuss the project. This gives them not only a chance to vent to their colleagues, it gives them visibility.” “Let them have meeting were ‘updates’ turn into accomplishment sharing. They’ve earned it.”
  • Ways to deal with naysayers and derailers:
    • “Meet their negatives head-on with positives. When they say, ‘I doubt we can complete this by next Friday’ you say, ‘I know it will be a challenge, but I am confident you can do it.'” “Turn the conversation to the positive and keep doing that.”
    • “When someone is afraid, they can’t be optimistic or enthusiastic or supportive. Allay their fear and you’ll see a different side of them, a better side.”
    • “When everyone is moving forward and working together, there’s not much room for naysayers or derailers. Good teams don’t tolerate them long.” “Let your team establish and enforce their own rules of acceptable behavior.”
    • “when working with a negative person, do all that you can to transform them and help them better themselves. Point out how their behavior affects others. Explain that it’s not acceptable. Give them a chance to fix themselves.”
    • “But if you’ve tried that and the negative behavior persists, then make a change. Get rid of that person. Move them off the team.”
  • Hiring for diversity
    • “Recruit in nontraditional venues”
    • “Providing mentoring”
    • “Offer parental leave or leaves of absence and review your jobs for pay equity”
    • “Standardize the hiring questions you use”
      • “You don’t want to ’tilt’ a candidate’s response to an interview question, so it’s important to ask questions in the same way. This helps avoid any bias in interviewing and gives candidates the same opportunity in responding to questions.”
  • “If people think you promoted someone based on any factor other than merit, your credibility as a leader is just as damaged as the person you promoted.”
  •  “If it’s not clear why someone received a promotion, then employees end up filling in the explanation for themselves and it’s usually a negative perception, like bias or seniority.”
  • “Clarify the criteria used for the promotion consideration. Make it concrete and specific. Use objective metrics for performance, such as increased sales, profitability, reduced employee turnover, or new product development.”
  • “Establish clear standards and expectations for all employees.”
  • “Give clear feedback on employee performance and coach employees on improving their deficiencies.”
  • “when people are given the opportunity to resolve their own issues with their colleagues, they tend to come up with viable, workable solutions that are also fair to the team members.”
  • “As a leader, you may not always be able to accommodate employee requests. But when you can, you should. Why not? Flexibility costs little or nothing, but can yield tremendous employee engagement and loyalty. And you don’t have to figure it all out by yourself. Enlist the help of your team members. Work with them to identify ways that you can meet their requests and still accomplish your business goals.”

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