Driving Diversity of Perspective

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Categories: Best Practices


by Dave Wakeman 

It’s easy to assume that the people we work with have the same viewpoint as we do about the projects we’re working on and the jobs we’re doing. 

That’s often not the case. In every instance, people are going to see the project differently than we do. And that’s not a bad thing. 

This diversity of perspective can have a positive impact on our projects in several ways:

It can lead to new solutions. 

In your projects, you might know the big picture, but your team doesn’t always know it. That’s great because they can give you a different perspective about what is going on inside a project and some ideas for solutions.  

You can encourage them to bring these ideas to you by wandering around. According to business guru Tom Peters, leaders should work to create opportunities for conversations that are spontaneous and often insightful. 

It can give rise to new experts.

The old days of command-and-control project management is over—dead and buried. 

In today’s world, it is unlikely that you are going to be an expert in most areas of your project. This provides a tremendous opportunity because you can actually use your lack of expertise to encourage other people to share theirs. 

Often team members don’t get to communicate their expertise because the communications systems that we have put in place don’t allow specific expertise to bubble up. 

To make the most of the diversity of expertise on your project, spend some time consciously asking people for their opinions about the project, their tasks, milestones and things they have learned. 

This can be during meetings or outside of any formal setting or process, but the key is to encourage as much sharing and communication as you can. 

It can free project leaders from having to have all the answers.

The problem with leadership roles is that we often feel compelled to have an answer, even the answer. 

The problem is that no one has all of the answers. The other problem is that all too often our egos get in the way and we feel like we have to give all the answers or give the final decision no matter what. 

This can hold us back. To maximize the impact of the diversity of your teams, you have to recognize that you don’t need to be the know-it-all. You just have to be willing and able to understand various points of view, ideas and explanations. Then you must be able to take action and get people onboard. 

So, how are you taking advantage of a diversity of perspective? 

BTW, if you like this blog, I do a weekly newsletter focused on value, leadership, strategy and more. I'm happy to send it to you, just drop me a note at dave@davewakeman.com with newsletter in the subject line. 

Posted by David Wakeman on: August 23, 2018 01:47 PM | Permalink

Comments (12)

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Using diversity and different perspective make projects solution much better
Nice post

Very thoughtful Dave, thanks.

The realization that a leader does not, nor should, have all the answers is the beginning toward being a great leader.

great post!

Great post Dave. Thanks for sharing.

Good points!!!

It is true that nowadays project leader/manager doesn't have all the answers and they welcome ideas/suggestions from team.
However, it is my personal experience that few top management people still expect every answer from a manager. Do you agree? How can this perspective be changed?

Excellent!. The need is to promote these facts. Project firms could surely become a lot better place realizing it.

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