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Workplace Diversity, Inclusion and Obstacles to It

Diversity and Inclusion Reflection

My reaction to the word “diversity” is grounded on events happening in the world – I immediately think that diversity is necessary, but still, there are problems with achieving it. I am sure that it is a significant and influential issue and assume that now one of the moments of intensive progress towards a more tolerant and diverse society. For example, the Black Lives Matter movement demonstrated the non-acceptance of racism by a significant part of society. Another example is the recent changes in the rules for winning the prestigious Oscar (Wilkinson, 2020). These are steps to ensure that diversity is not only a goal of struggle but a generally accepted norm in the future. I did not notice the problems with my embracing diversity in various dimensions since I only care about the quality of communication and mutual respect.

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For me, the feeling of inclusion is very inspiring and motivating, but sometimes there are situations when it is not present. I felt included in many cases – while studying in a group, participating in sports competitions, among a company of friends, or at my usual workplace. However, when I first came to work and just got acquainted with the team, I did not feel included since I did not know either people or the norms accepted.

When I think about privileges, I cannot remember when I had one. However, I work as a military officer, and some higher-position staff can use it. I believe that if the privilege is not abused and received honestly, it can be helpful. For example, diplomatic immunity protects diplomats and supports their effective work (Frey & Frey, 2018). However, often privilege blinds its owner and leads to disregard for those who do not have one.

Diversity and Inclusion Action

My result in a diversity questionnaire is 121, which means a high score and also space for improvement. I assume that the answers I chose, “almost never,” are more related to my personal qualities than to my attitude to diversity. For example, I may not be very sociable and actively looking for connections with people, or I may assume that others may like the same things as me. To become more inclusive, I need more communication and acquaintances with representatives of other cultures.

As a leader, for the psychological safety of a diverse team, I would offer an open discussion of potentially controversial issues before work begins and the norms without stereotypes and biases. Everyone can share their unique cultural experience, which will bring the team closer together and contribute to seeing themselves as insiders. At the same time, the joint decision-making process is possible through discussion, brainstorming, and other ways of expressing opinions by each participant. However, I also need to get better and eliminate personal stereotypes, particularly the gender division of roles and professions. I can get rid of them through messages that each person is unique and finds recognition in various activities.

Obstacles Reflection

While helping people, I can offer what I can do but do not make promises to do something beyond my competence, so my ability to help is commensurate with my skills and knowledge. Simultaneously, I am not comfortable giving others goals and instructions and prefer advice and suggestions more. My strong leadership qualities are other – I can motivate people. The key aspects are honest feedback, task developing abilities, and achievements recognized. All of them address a sense of competence, value, and compliance with expectations. For this reason, I consider low motivation as one of the obstacles that have practical solutions. An obstacle difficult to address is the complexity of tasks since it is necessary to find a balance – the job should be challenging, but the employee must cope with it.

Obstacles Action

As part of the Path-Goal theory, leaders set goals and help followers find a way to achieve them. To do this, it is necessary that the company’s goals are clearly formulated and discussed, and employees understand what their role is in achieving them. At the same time, the leader also helps employees and gives them the opportunity to develop (“An example,” 2020). According to the results of the questionnaire, I need to strengthen directive leadership. To make sure that the selected style works, one can track the company’s progress towards goals and ask for feedback and suggestions from employees. Leadership style adaptation is effective, motivating, and unlocks workers’ potential (Northouse, 2021). I am ready to adapt my style to the followers’ needs.

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Work Environment

When considering my workplace, I would like to introduce the norm of treating colleagues of any rank with respect. The need is justified because people in higher positions or with more broad experience may neglect those who do not have such a powerful job. At the same time, the military environment is not sufficiently diverse and inclusive – for example, women in this area are much more difficult to build careers. Nevertheless, measures are being taken throughout the country to address the problems, preventing discrimination, overcoming barriers to diversity, and making other efforts (“How the military,” 2021). In the workplace, I also note such obstacles as low involvement and complex tasks. They negatively affect overall effectiveness and undermine confidence in leaders. Unaddressed obstacles also exacerbate the issue of diversity and inclusiveness. For example, without involving employees, leaders do not promote their inclusion in a single team.

References

An example of path-goal leadership. (2020). Chron. Web.

Frey, L. S., & Frey, M. L. (2018). Diplomatic immunity/privilege. The Encyclopedia of Diplomacy, 1-10. Web.

How the military supports diversity and inclusion. (2021). Military One Source. Web.

Northouse, P. G. (2021). Introduction to leadership: Concepts and practice (5th ed.). Sage Publications.

Wilkinson, A. (2020). The Oscars’ new rules for Best Picture nominees, explained. Vox. Web.

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