Within organizations, diversity is the mosaic of genders, ethnicities, ages, personalities, communication styles, and educational levels.  Diverse work groups not only design more innovative products, processes, and services that address the multiplicity of needs from their diverse and global customers, but they also present a wealth of ideas and insights that can lead to creative problem-solving and decision-making.  From a human resource perspective, organizations with a reputation for appreciating diversity are likely to attract and retain qualified and motivated employees.    

Even though diversity can have numerous organizational benefits, divergent views may result in interpersonal conflicts.  However, part of a manager’s job is to help the contrasting pieces of the mosaic work harmoniously together and to make the best use of each employee’s unique talents and abilities.  In part, conflicts may be assuaged and harmony may increase when managers model and help others to do the following:

-           Respect others, themselves, and the differences.

-           Tolerate ambiguities in language, styles, and behaviors

-           Become self-aware to assure you understand your reactions

-           Practice empathy to feel what someone who is different from you might be feeling

-           Maintain a sense of humor because when we lose our sense of humor, we lose our sense of humanity and our perspective

When diversity is appreciated, it can be a source of harmony and organizational growth. Managers who model their appreciation of diversity help to create a vision, build awareness, inspire others, and facilitate positive organizational change.